Sunday, February 15, 2015

Ira Israel: Mindfulness Meditation, Day 5



Day 5: Labeling Our Thoughts (9 minute meditation)

You know the routine by now.  Set your frame!

This exercise is all about labeling our thoughts, and our thoughts are always about the past, the present, or the future.  And the thoughts typically are negative, positive, or neutral in quality.

So thinking about something neutral in the past is labeled as "Remembering".  For example, you think, "I went to the zoo last week."  That's just your mind remembering.  When thoughts like these come into your mind while meditation, tell yourself, "That's my mind remembering."

If you think about something in the past and it's positive, this is labeled as "Reminiscing".  For example, you think, "That cobb salad I ate was amazing."  That's just your mind reminiscing.  When thoughts like these come into your mind while meditating, tell yourself, "That's my mind reminiscing."

If you think about something in the past and it's negative, this is labeled as "Regretting".  For example, you think, "Oh my gosh, I can't believe he broke up with me via text message."  That's your mind regretting.  When thoughts like these come into your mind while meditating, tell yourself, "That's my mind regretting."

Thinking about something in the present that is neutral, such as, "I wonder if it's going to rain today?" is labeled as "Wondering".  When these thoughts come into your mind while meditating, tell yourself, "That my wind wondering."

Thinking about something in the present that is positive, such as, "I would really like a hot fudge sundae right now," is labeled as "Desiring".  When these thoughts come into your mind while meditating, tell yourself, "That my mind desiring."

Thinking about something in the present and it's negative, such as, "I can't believe that person is wearing that ugly brown shirt," is labeled as "Judging".  When these thoughts come into your mind while meditating, tell yourself, "That my mind judging."

Thinking about something in the future and it's neutral, such as, "I'm going to send that e-mail as soon as I get home," is labeled as "Planning".  When these thoughts come into your mind while meditating, tell yourself, "That my mind planning."

Thinking about something in the future and it's positive, such as, "I hope we can spend our honeymoon in Hawaii!", is labeled as "Fantasizing".  When these thoughts come into your mind while meditating, tell yourself, "That my mind fantasizing."

Thinking about something in the future and it's negative, such as, "I hope that brown spot on my leg isn't melanoma," is labeled as "Fearing".  When these thoughts come into your mind while meditating, tell yourself, "That my mind fearing."

These tools enable you to observe your thoughts.  Remember, if your thoughts are about the past, they're either remembering, reminiscing, or regretting.  If they're about the present, they're either wondering, desiring, or judging.  And if they're about the future, they're either planning, fantasizing, or fearing.

Now when you practice this, after a few minutes notice if you have a default way of being, a default way of thinking.  Your mind might be prone to operate like you're playing chess with an excessive amount of planning going on.  Just notice if you're either remembering, regretting, fearing, or planning more than any of the others.

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