Online Retreat
Mindfulness, self-compassion and the healing embrace of God
PART 4
Mindful awareness of thoughts

Begin this session with following the guided meditation on mindfulness of sounds and thoughts in the following video, by Mark Williams.

Length: 8 min 04 sec

Introduction to the mornign retreat
Talk 4 Awareness of thoughts
MINDFUL AWARENESS OF THOUGHTS EXERCISES

 

Breathing pause

  • As often as you can remember to, stop what you are doing for a moment.

  • Become aware of where you are, and notice the feeling of your feet on the floor.

  • Become aware of what is going on in your mind and emotions.

  • Now gently bring your awareness to your breath, feeling its freshness as it enters your body, and the release as you breathe out.

 

 

Recognising the top ten tunes

  • Try to notice when you have got carried away with thoughts. Label the kind of thought that arises, or the category that it falls into.

  • Can you recognize any of your “top ten tunes” that keep replaying in your mind? You might find it helpful to keep track of these in your journal. 

  • Now make the choice to let go of the thought and return to awareness of your body, becoming aware of your breathing, where you are sitting or walking, the temperature of your skin etc.

Meeting your inner roommate

Try the following exercise, described by Michael Singer in his book “The Untethered Soul”, as a way of getting to know the inner chatter of your mind.

If you would like to meet your roommate, just try to sit inside yourself for a while in complete solitude and silence. You have the right; it’s your inner domain. But instead of finding silence, you’re going to listen to incessant chatter:

“Why am I doing this? I have more important things to do. This is a waste of time. There’s nobody in here but me. What’s this all about?”

Right on cue, there’s your roommate. You may have a clear intention to be quiet inside, but your roommate won’t cooperate. And it’s not just when you try to be quiet. It has something to say about everything you look at: “I like it. I don’t like it. This is good. That’s bad.” It just talks and talks. You don’t generally notice because you don’t step back from it. You’re so close that you don’t realize that you’re actually hypnotized into listening to it.

Basically, you’re not alone in there. There are two distinct aspects of your inner being. The first is you, the awareness, the witness, the center of your willful intentions; and the other is that which you watch. The problem is, the part that you watch never shuts up. If you could get rid of that part, even for a moment, the peace and serenity would be the nicest vacation you’ve ever had.

Imagine what it would be like if you didn’t have to bring this thing with you everywhere you go. Real spiritual growth is about getting out of this predicament. But first you have to realize that you’ve been locked in there with a maniac. … Once you see what this can do to your life, you are ready for spiritual growth. … If you haven’t reached this awareness yet, just start to watch. Spend a day watching every single thing your roommate does. … You’ll be shocked by what you see. It just jumps from one subject to the next. The incessant chatter seems so neurotic that you won’t believe that it’s always that way. But it is. You have to watch this if you want to be free of it. You don’t have to do anything about it, but you have to get wise to the predicament you’re in. You have to realize that somehow you’ve ended up with a mess for an inner roommate. …

The way to catch on to what your inner roommate is really like is to personify it externally. Make believe that your roommate, the psyche, has a body of its own. You do this by taking the entire personality that you hear talking to you inside and imagine it as a person talking to you on the outside. Just imagine that another person is now saying everything that your inner voice would say. Now spend a day with that person.

RETREAT
CENTRE

Tel: 082 465 1514            Email: bestill@solitude.org.za

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