Earlier this week my friend Linda sent me this message -
“I'm sitting on the platform at Virginia Water waiting for train this morning with headphones on doing my 10 minutes Mindspace programme. There's a gaggle of SW trains ticket inspectors harassing the commuters. I heard them approaching and in my slightly zoned out state my mind wanders to an image of one of them interrupting me mid zen to ask to see my ticket, me throwing my earl grey over him in shock and shouting "CAN'T YOU SEE I'M TRYING TO FUCKING MEDITATE". At which point I started giggling uncontrollably like a lunatic”
I think this could be all part of my resistance to sitting still & quietly... X
Another friend also recently shared that he became very angry during his first meditation and didn’t continue to do it and walked out.
So in response to both, I consulted my meditation bible ‘Full Catastrophe Living’ by Jon Kabat-Zinn and this is what he has to say -
‘During meditation we intentionally treat all our thoughts as if they were of equal value. As best we can, and with the lightest of touches, we bring awareness to them when they arise and then we intentionally return our attention to the breath as the primary focus of our attention, regardless of the content of the thought and its emotional charge. In other words, we intentionally practice letting go of each thought that attracts our attention, whether it seems important and insightful or unimportant and trivial. We just observe them as thoughts, as discrete and exceedingly transient events that appear in the field of awareness. We are aware of them because they are here, but we intentionally decline to get caught up in the content of the thoughts during meditation, no matter how meaningful or enticing the content may be for us in any given moment. We note their content and their ‘emotional charge’, then no matter how charged they are for us in that moment we intentionally let go of them and then refocus on our breathing once again and on the experience of being ‘in our body’ as we sit here. We repeat this hundreds of thousands of times, millions of times as necessary. And it will be necessary.
Letting go is not suppressing. Thinking is not bad, nor is it even undesirable during meditation. What matters is whether you are aware of your thoughts and feelings during meditation and how you are in a relationship to them.
We simply make room for our thoughts as they cascade through our mind. Observing them as thoughts, letting them be, using the breath as an anchor or home base for observing, for reminding us to stay focused and calm.
Every practice is different.
It is remarkable how liberating it feels to be able to see that your thoughts are just thoughts and that they are not ‘you’ or ‘reality’.
I remember in the early days Paul’s mum saying to me about my resistance to meditation and sitting still - ‘It is only yourself you are running away from’
For more musings on meditation visit -
and a short guided meditation from Jon Kabat-Zinn here -