don’t judge me

When you’re meditating, you’re not supposed to stop thinking (which is impossible), you’re just supposed to return your focus from your thoughts to the rhythm of your breath. This teaches not only that YOU are the one in control of where your attention goes (not whatever shiny thing happens to grab it at the moment) but it also teaches you to take a break from judgment. We’re always judging the quality of things. This is good, this is bad. I like this, I hate that and this isn’t terrible but I’d rather be watching Justin Bieber. Value judgments every moment of the day.

When you’re meditating and suddenly realize you’re focused on a thought instead of your breathing, it doesn’t matter whether that thought is disturbing, exciting, ugly, or the most brilliant idea you’ve ever had, you let it go. All thoughts become the same. No judgment. It’s not good or bad, it’s just not what we’re focusing on right now.

Practicing this break from the habit of judging pays off in day to day life. I’m starting to see more and more that so many things aren’t good or bad like I’d thought, they’re just there. With nothing to do with me. Suddenly the people and things that I feel myself threatened by or desperately drawn to are becoming fewer. As long as I keep meditating daily, that is.

To help with letting thoughts go in meditation, I’ve tried picturing them as clouds (whether dark or fluffy, they all move on and disappear), as balloons (and I gently cut their string and let them fly away), or as birds. Susan says to observe the birds as they fly by and return my attention to breathing. But I’m not sure if I’m a circus freak or something because my thoughts are freaking LOUD. I have shouty thoughts. I’m starting to picture the birds carrying little stereos tuned to different stations. Which is neither good nor bad, it’s just there.

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