Many people are aware of thoughts but many less of feelings. I’m not always talking about feelings in a verbal way like “i feel sad”, its more about physical sensations so I’ll make it clear where needed.
How its done
To use mindfulness you use your attention, your awareness. This means different things to different people so I’ll give some other names for it;
- Inner focus
- Minds eye
- Self awareness
Whatever you call it, that’s what you need, that’s the weapon you’ll use ok. I’ll call it mindful attention because its scientific sounding enough but whatevs.
Like any weapon you may well want to take time to become familiar and knowledgeable with it before you pick it up as It’s a powerful weapon indeed & deserves respect!
It’s usually best to become proficient with it slowly & naturally. Start with the closest targets and the push yourself for further. Here are a few main target areas easiest to hardest;
Right now, using your mindful attention alone, ‘look’ at your foot. You don’t need to close your eyes, just bring your full mindful attention there and keep ‘looking’. Congratulations you just meditated. It’s that easy.
Bringing your whole mental energy to one place in the here and now is meditation which means the same thing as the modern term mindfulness & you’ve used that skill a thousand times in your life just unconsciously, automatically.
To become a meditation master the first step is bringing that skill to full consciousness and actively practice it daily. Before we can go deep we have to start shallow so practice bringing attention to different places around your body whenever you remember, It’s excellent practice stuff and will strengthen your meditation muscles.
Mindful attention directed towards the head will start to pick up on your inner thought train. Thought train is an excellent term to describe what must be exactly that for many people. A train of thoughts, one linked to the next and the preceding endlessly and ongoing. At least that’s how it’ll start for you most likely.
Eventually, hanging around with full mindfulness on the head for long enough, will show you that your thoughts actually have gaps between them! We’ll go into more on the significance of that in later posts but remember for now that it is in these gaps, that you will make bigger, that you’ll set up camp and build your entire inner meditation empire from within.
You need a clear bit of mental space to build on, what better place than the gap between your thoughts, its empty!
Thought gap spotting let alone widening is advanced stuff. You will no doubt have plenty of other thought based things to keep you busy too.
Looking at your thoughts and not lying to yourself are the two crucial things needed now as you dive into and amongst your actual thoughts.
Practice watching your thoughts and some of the negative things you’ll see will be your;
- Hidden agendas
- Two Facedness
The list goes on…..Can you see why people have had a hard time getting this across to people in the past? I can, who really wants to look at themselves to see these things?
But I know times are changing, people are getting braver and smarter. This process will take anybody with the smallest hint of theses qualities and payout according to the efforts they effort put into it.
The effort required is mindful effort focused onto such thoughts, hard, whenever they’re noticed. Don’t ask me why, leave that to the scientists, but focused mindful attention, over sustained periods, burns away outdated thought patterns, which changes you bigtime and for the better oh yeh!
We’ll look deeper into that another time.
Last and by no means least are feelings. Like I said i’m refering to physical sensations in the body here ok guys.
Anxiety produces big physical sensations in the body which is actually really helpful as they are like glaring beacons to anyone who knows about the power of inner mindful attention. Lighthouses constantly signalling their location.
Feelings left unchecked, unrecognized and unprocessed will trigger off many negative thoughts in the mind which will in turn intensify the feelings in a circle of viciousness.
Rip the spokes out of that circle by homing in on the physical sensations within your body, most often in the chest or stomach areas.
Find, seek, destroy!
At least that’s what you’ll be like when you first learn this skill! in time you learn to mellow with it but for now, go have fun and do the following to strike back effectively against inner BS.
Notice negative thoughts and bring your mindful attention to your body, like an eagle above waiting for the first hint of movement. Not all negative thoughts will give you physical feelings, we’re looking for the big deals that set off all that crap you feel inside.
Notice and then immediately swoop right down above it, wherever it is inside.and set up camp just back from it a little, you just turned into an inner hyena or whatever so keep watch and be ready to do some watchful allowing.
Breath a little deeper now, your probably shallow breathing. Breath, look, watch, allow, feel that physical feeling & stick around for a while, process it for God’s sake you’ll get it.
The same focused inner mindful attention that melted away your outdated thoughts will do the same for your inner inbox of unfelt feelings. Do it until you are free of yourselves and come join me, i’m lonely over here x
More another day, or sooner who knows
Peter Cole MAX Mindfulness