Monday, May 30, 2016

Monday Mantra: Thinking, Feeling, Breathing, Knowing

mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that is considered capable of "creating transformation".

Every Monday I will post a new thought, idea, or focus for the week. When you need a breather from life, when you need a little inspiration, or when you're about to jump over the conference table and strangle your co-worker, remember the mantra.

Monday Mantra: knowing : adjective
1  :  having or showing special knowledge, information, or intelligence
2  :  shrewdly or keenly alert
DM Davis
Back in my "learn about all the ways to meditate" days, there was one particular meditation that I absolutely loved.  I called it the Thinking Feeling Breathing Listening meditation. I called it that because that's exactly what you did. You focused on each of those four key items while you tried to shut your brain down. Thinking applied to the mind wandering. Focusing on your grocery list or when the meditation would finally be over- those were all classified as Thinking. Feeling was all about your body. Did your butt go numb while you were sitting there? Feel an itch on your face? That was Feeling. Listening, you've probably already figured out, was paying attention to any noises around. And finally, Breathing. When you noticed your own breath lifting and lowering your chest.

The meditation went something like this: as you're sitting, if you heard something you would internally repeat "hearing, hearing, hearing, hearing" until you noticed you were breathing, at which point you would then switch to "breathing, breathing, breathing." A typical meditation would involved a whole lot of "thinking, thinking, breathing, hearing, breathing, feeling, thinking..." so on and so forth. You'd jump back and fourth between the things you sensed in this fashion until eventually you fell into a meditative state. It didn't happen that easily, of course. There was only one time when I ever truly fell into a meditative state, but it was because of this meditation. And because it was such a remarkable feeling, something so unlike anything else I've ever experienced, I snapped out of it almost immediately. What I took away from that one moment of pure bliss was a message: Freedom from thinking.

Freedom from thinking has come to mean a variety of things to me over the years. Less analyzing, less worry, less unnecessary thoughts in general. What I just recently realized, however, is that it also means trusting in what you feel without having to logically sort it out with thoughts. Having that gut instinct and following through on that feeling. Paying attention when you intrinsically know something is wrong/right. That is also freedom from thinking.

I've been focusing on that piece lately: knowing.

When I can't sort out the thoughts in my head and justify that instinctual feeling, I don't. I simply let myself trust that this feeling, this knowing, will lead me where I'm supposed to go- when and how I'm supposed to get there. Sometimes, it's clear. Sometimes, it's not. Sometimes, it's one step at a time and then waiting, waiting, waiting for the next feeling of knowing to hit me. Regardless, I trust in it and I let it guide me. I embrace the freedom from thinking.

If you feel overwhelmed in thought, I suggest trying this meditation. It's not magic. It won't work overnight, but give it some time and patience, and beautiful things - maybe even your own special message - will come your way. If nothing else, you might get tired and fall asleep and hey, naps are kind of magical, right? Right.

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