A meditation to hack and explore your mind? In this meditation we will do a deliberate approach to the mind with the purpose of acknowledging its inner workings. Understanding the mechanics of your mind is vital if you wish to improve your life.
In Buddhism being able to recognize one’s own thoughts is a perk attainable by any and all who are willing to observe. This meditation is the first step to knowing your mind better.
“Deciding to remain ignorant of our own mind will inevitably make us suffer the emotional consequences”
… a little bit overly dramatic, I know, but it’s true!
Grab a timer because this will only take you 5 minutes. If you decide to use your phone’s timer use “do not disturb” mode. After you hit start place it screen down someplace it won’t disturb you before the 5 minutes have elapsed.
Doing this Meditation has great implications because it will enable you to (pretty much) literally hack your mind to make it work for you, not against you.
This meditation is useful when you face moments of anxiety in general. If you do it in your spare time you will gain amazing insights into how exactly you create/adopt ideas, how they interact and link to each other, how feelings arise from them, how perceptions are created and how all this alters the reality you live in… pretty cool, huh?
First make yourself comfortable, either lie down on your bed or sit in a comfortable position. Make sure the position you choose allows you to breathe in and out deeply and comfortably without obstructions.
Begin emptying your lungs as if you were blowing air at the space in front of you and then begin inhaling deeply and slowly. Do this as you read:
- Take 4 seconds to fill your lungs with air.
- Keep your lungs full for 2 seconds
- Take 4 seconds to exhale
- Repeat the above steps 4 times
- Afterwards allow your breath to take a normal pace but make sure you fully inhale and fully exhale without strain
Now, unless you already have great domain over your mind, you will inevitably have a thought or a series of thoughts. Most probably about the events going on in your life, what you are doing at the moment or thinking why are you doing this, or maybe your current worries.
Acknowledge the thoughts. From this moment you are only a witness.
What do I mean? Imagine you are just watching the streets, from a high point, like looking down a valley from a mountain or your city from an elevated point, like a building.
What exactly would you do from there? Surely some cars or buildings will draw your attention more than others. Or maybe you would decide to pay attention to something, but your involvement with the city would be close to none. You surely wouldn’t hate a car, or fear a street or get sad because you saw a certain building. You are just there, watching, and that’s all.
You are far away and there is no need to do anything about anything. You are just there enjoying the view.
As much as you want to be involved with your thoughts and worries resolve to refrain from doing it for at least 5 minutes. Nothing will happen in 5 minutes you take for yourself and your growth.
Forget about judging your ideas. No good/bad, fair/unfair, sad/happy. Just watch, don’t participate, because judging is participating.
Now, don’t be surprised if your thoughts are stubborn or want to be paid attention to, it will happen and it is completely normal. Just keep in mind that you are exercising detachment from your ideas, so if you just keep this in mind it will help you achieve your goal.
Do not fight your stubborn thoughts, treat them as you would treat a fly crossing your room. They get stubborn too, but you wouldn’t get mad or fight it, you would just scare it away with little concern.
(If you are the kind of person who would fight a fly or get mad at it, don’t worry, we’ve all been there. 🙂 Just check out my anger management article)
Some thoughts will have a stronger grip, such as worries or guilt, for example. Still, resolve to spend those 5 minutes only watching, not fighting.
Pay attention to your chain of thoughts. How do you feel? What are your thoughts making you feel? What is the most stubborn thought? Why do you think it wants to be paid attention to? What thought connects to what other thought or situation in your life?
Keep observing all aspects of your thoughts for 5 minutes. You are just there to investigate, sort of.
What makes this meditation unique is that it makes you an expert in yourself. Besides observing start identifying with complete clarity the thoughts that go through your mind.
Because of the nature of our mind, the thoughts we have are either in the form of sentences (because we speak in a language) or are easily put into words and sentences. This is what we want.
Suddenly a feeling of worry becomes “Oh crap, I forgot to do this”. You get the idea, right? Abstract becomes clear, the ambiguous feelings and ideas become concrete in the form of sentences or words. This is what we are looking for.
Your inner reality will become crystal clear to you if you repeat this meditation at least 3 times a week. And you will even start doing it without the need of setting time apart for doing it, it will become a habit.
This clarity of mind is needed in order to solve problems in all areas of your life.
After the timer rings you can end the meditation, you have observed your mind for long enough. With practice you will be able to become a complete spectator of your thoughts and you will easily stop participation.
If you like to do this and enjoy the results please go ahead and do it more often, it is a great practice that will make you a happier person 😀
If you believe this will be helpful to others or if it helps you don’t forget to share and like. And hey, drop me a comment below and let me know what you think about this. Thanks for reading!
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Beautiful comments! Thank you!
Thank you very much for your concepts. Personally, bad criticism and gossiping has hurt me, badly. After having read your article, I now understand that I need to position myself in a different perspective. I will now look down at my critics from my hill, up above, and I will not allow them to hurt me.
Thank you very much, George!