Say you’re meditating on your breath. Then you realise that your mind is on something else. How do you respond?
Almost everyone thinks they’ve failed, many people think they’re bad at mediation, some people even think there’s something wrong with them as a human being.
None of this is true!
To understand this, let’s take a step back and get some perspective. What are we trying to do when we practice mindfulness? The idea is to wake up to experience, so you can really enjoy it (and get all the other benefits of mindfulness). After all, what’s the alternative? Live in a past you can’t change? Live in a future that isn’t here yet – and then miss it when it comes?
So the moments to really value are the moments when we are awake to our experience.
When we realise where our attention is (even if it’s not where we meant it to be), that’s when we’ve “woken up.” It’s a “Magic Moment.” And it is magic – we’ve come off auto-pilot and become aware. It’s this awareness, that gives us the chance to make choices about the direction of our lives.
So don’t chose to be angry with yourself in the most important moments of your life. Getting angry doesn’t help!
Instead, savour the moment and make a wise decision. Here’s one way of doing that:
1. “Aha! A Magic Moment :-)”
2. Briefly note where you attention has alighted
3. Gently guide your attention back to your breathing