Updated: Dec 30, 2020
Have you ever sat down to meditate and all of a sudden, thought about everything. All things you need to do at work, your grocery list, the laundry you need to switch around, what color you should paint your nails, whether to get takeout or eat leftovers...again or any and everything else. If this is you (raises hand), know that you are not alone. I am right there with you friend. And guess what, everyone has thoughts during meditation. Our minds were made to think and they wander over 40% of the time. That’s a lot of thoughts! When you sit down and are still and quiet, it is very normal for thoughts to explode to the surface. I mean, where else are they going to go?
The mind will never be empty during meditation. And that is okay because that is not the goal. The goal of meditation is to be present and acknowledge whatever shows up. This includes thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations (or the lack of) these sensations as well.
So now that you know thoughts are okay, what is the best way to deal with them?
The first step is noticing you are having a thought!
Then tell yourself you are having a thought, without engaging with it. It can sound something like this. (Oh, that was a thought).
And finally, just let that thought go, with no judgment.
Here is a little secret, the thoughts never go away, and sometimes the same thoughts come back over and over, and that is okay too. Through practice, you are able to grow and learn how to better detach from the thoughts so that they become less consuming.
Now it is your turn to give it a try! Next time you are meditating I want you to notice the thoughts that come to your mind. Remember, perfection isn’t possible, so be gentle with yourself.