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We assume that we know our own minds, when in reality they’re much more complex and mysterious than we think. Consciousness is one of the great riddles of the universe for which there are surprisingly few answers, no comprehensive system, and not even a single definition. Yet we all use our minds everyday. We’re so used to the continual train of thoughts in our minds, some of whose paths are individually chosen and some conventionally patterned, that they go unrecognized for what they are or even unnoticed. Through meditation the constraints that we have learned to place on our minds can be loosened selectively. The boundaries between our conscious and subconscious minds can become more permeable and we can experience more than the surface of our selves. We can learn to experience the full potential of our minds.

Try this meditation.

1         Simply observe your thoughts.

Don’t try to control (focus, direct, or change) your thoughts.

Don’t fixate on or avoid certain thoughts.

Don’t judge or criticize your thoughts.

Don’t judge or criticize yourself for having thoughts.

Simply observe your thoughts.

After meditation review your process. Were your thoughts familiar or surprising to you? Did your mind flow in conventional patterns (comparison, contrast, chain of events) or not? Did you favor certain subjects over others? Was the tendency to think certain thoughts reinforced by recent or reoccurring events? If you experienced memories of past events were they recent or long past? How does this meditation on thoughts compare to previous ones? How does increasing or decreasing the time you spend meditating change your experience? What did you learn about your mind?

Learn more about meditation with these resources.


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