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Introduction to Meditation: Observing One's Own Thoughts
Have you ever found yourself overwhelmed by a flood of thoughts, worries, and distractions? Have you considered meditation as a way to improve your mental and emotional well-being?
Our minds are constantly racing, jumping from one idea to another, often without a clear direction or purpose. But what if we could learn to observe our own thoughts without judgment, and cultivate a sense of calm and clarity amidst the noise?
That's the promise of meditation, a practice that has been around for thousands of years and is now backed by modern science. In this article, we'll explore some insights and techniques to help you develop mindfulness through self-reflection, and discover the power of simply being present with your own mind. So take a deep breath, relax, and let's explore the fascinating world of meditation together.
"Mindfulness is the aware, balanced acceptance of the present experience. It isn't more complicated than that. It is opening to or receiving the present moment, pleasant or unpleasant, just as it is, without either clinging to it or rejecting it."
— Sylvia Boorstein
Most probably you already heard of meditation. It's a way of focusing your mind to help you feel better about yourself and the world around you. It doesn't involve any special exercises or breathing techniques—it's just about thinking positively and looking within yourself to find your best qualities.
Meditation is more than just a relaxation exercise—it's an inner journey. When you meditate, you're able to rediscover yourself and transform yourself into the person you want to be.
In the practice of meditation, it is important to stay focused on the present moment. Anticipating the future based on our past experiences can make us lose sight of the present. We may become preoccupied with thoughts of what we were or what we will be, and in doing so, fail to appreciate the life that we have in the present moment. This is why many meditation techniques emphasize the importance of observing our thoughts and feelings as they arise in the present, without judgement or attachment. By doing so, we can cultivate a sense of awareness and clarity that enables us to fully engage with the present moment, and to live our lives to the fullest.
So, how do you start meditating?
Well, the first step is to observe your thoughts. This means paying attention to the different types of thoughts you have and deciding which ones you want to focus on.
There are four types of thoughts: positive, necessary, wasteful, and negative.
Positive thoughts are those based on internal, spiritual values. They help you discover your inner qualities and maintain a positive outlook on life. Examples of positive thoughts include "I am calm and relaxed" and "I appreciate others."
Necessary thoughts are those that help you accomplish your daily tasks. These might include things like "What am I going to prepare for dinner?" or "I have to remember to pick up the children from the daycare center."
Wasteful thoughts are those that waste your mental energy and time. They might include things like questioning decisions you've already made or commenting on things unnecessarily.
Negative thoughts are those that have a negative effect on your personality and trigger feelings of sadness, stress, or discouragement. Examples of negative thoughts include "This always happens to me!" or "I have too many things to do, I'll never finish."
By observing your thoughts and focusing on the positive ones, you can learn to master your mind and become the person you want to be. So why not give meditation a try and see how it can help you feel better about yourself and the world around you?
What are the goals or objectives I intend to achieve?
What particular aspect of my personality would I like to transform or improve?
A few minutes in the morning:
Today I will observe my thoughts and analyze whether they are positive, necessary, wasteful or negative.
I will decide to transform a few wasteful or negative thoughts into positive thoughts.
Several times during the day:
I observe what I occupy my mind with.
Do I use my mind to create powerful, constructive, necessary thoughts most of the time, or do I allow wasteful or negative thoughts to occupy my mind?
I become aware that it is possible to transform my usual way of thinking by creating positive thoughts about myself and about others.
A few minutes at night:
I review my day.
Do I feel that I took advantage of my day?
Was I able to experience moments of happiness?
Did I experience having control over my thoughts?
Was I able to observe my thoughts?
Was I able to analyze whether or not a thought was beneficial for me?
Did I succeed in transforming a few ordinary thoughts into elevated thoughts?
Remember, meditation can be a valuable tool for managing stress, increasing self-awareness, and finding inner peace. So if you're interested in exploring this practice further, there are plenty of resources and communities available to support you.
“As we continue to explore the transformative power of meditation, we thank our readers for their dedication and commitment to this path of awakening. May we continue to deepen our practice and embody the peace and wisdom that arises from it.”
— Journal of Animaology
For an advanced study of this subject, please read our next article in the Meditation series. To receive new articles and support our work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.