Tag Archives: thoughts

Practice Rules

When I sit (or walk) I usually go through a period of time where I tell myself what to do. This may take several forms: “pay attention to the … (breath, sounds, sensations, …),” “label thoughts,” “ask, ‘What is this?’” and so on.

Essentially I have set up ‘rules’ for my practice. This inevitably leads me into territory that is familiar to many meditators.

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I can’t meditate. I think too much

How do you picture yourself as a meditating person? Do you see yourself as peaceful? Happy? Untroubled by annoying thoughts? A blank slate? Or do you see yourself as a person with an anxious, busy mind, with a tense body, or beset by emotional storms?

It is likely that your expectation of yourself as a meditator will influence your decision to try meditation. Here is what teacher/author Jason Siff has to say about such expectations in “unlearning meditation: what to do when the instructions get in the way“:

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