On Mindfulness

“I wish I could stop thinking “is a thought that probably pops up on everybody’s mind from time to time. Thinking in such cases instead of bringing a solution and help, has accelerated into a messy hurricane or a mental vortex threatening our sanity and giving us a headache or other even more serious malady; we simply would like to be able to stop it. And then another thought can appear: “It is said that meditation can quiet the mind, bring bliss and peace and allow chill out.” We want to learn meditation to master this troublesome and exhausting stream of thoughts.

I am not sure that a conscious person can stop thinking. But I am quite sure that a person can consciously ignore thinking completely. It is not about ceasing to think but about not paying attention to thoughts. The best way to do it is to pay attention to something else. And this something else is not a pleasant thought about a bottle of wine, a bar of chocolate or a lover… This something else is your functioning, living body.

Before we were taught to speak and communicate with language we were communicating with the environment by sensing it and feeling it. Life was only experienced; it was not described and judged. As grownups we still sense the environment, but we do it almost unconsciously. We had moved all our attention to commenting on it and judging it, namely thinking about it.

So I suggest ignoring thinking by swapping our attention back to this baby-like state of being, just feeling and sensing; concentrating on your physical, not intellectual life. This simple action will cut you off from thinking. And it will enlarge you sphere of consciousness. You can choose then when you want to think and when you don’t. It is very useful particularly when the thinking has turned to an uncontrollable, painful storm. Start training when the storm is far away. Learn it, it is meditation.