Greetings, meditator friends!
One of the things I aspire to do with these daily tips is to continue to support you, and today I'd like to further explore the role of thoughts in your practice. Up to this point in the challenge, I mentioned that mind wandering during meditation isn't a problem or bad. Instead, it is an opportunity to practice mindful awareness.
I also mentioned that you're not pushing thoughts away. You're just seeing them for what they are, thoughts, and then bring your attention back to your anchor.
For today, I thought it might be helpful to expand on how you may want to perceive or view your thoughts, and my favorite metaphor is to think of thoughts like a movie in your mind.
You can click on the link above for a more thorough description of what I mean, but here's a quick and dirty explanation:
Much in the same way that we get "sucked in" to a movie in the theater, our thoughts suck us in to what's going on in our head. A scary scene in a movie makes our heart beat faster even though it's not actually happening to us. An upsetting thought about something from the past (or potential future) can do the same thing.
When we are lost in thought, we are watching images on the "screen" of our minds, and perhaps hearing some language that is recalled or of our own creation.
Just like we can pull ourselves out of a movie and look around the theater, we can pull ourselves out of our thoughts and ground ourselves in the reality of our present moment experience.
How is being aware of this helpful? Perceiving our thoughts this way helps us to dis-identify with them. This then allows us to more easily get back in the driver's seat of our mind, which I find very empowering. :-)