A Guided Journey to Meet Your Inner Observer.
Why meditate? What’s the point? I felt that way for a long time myself… “waste of time” I thought. Was I wrong! What I discovered was that meditation gives you greater control over your thoughts… and that may be the most important key to happiness!
Most of us have minds that natter at us all day long, or worse, they invent terrifying and depressing scenarios about possible futures! My mind does this to me now and then… how ’bout you?
Here’s the thing to know: You are not your thoughts.
You have thoughts, but you are apart from your thoughts. You know this is true because you can catch yourself thinking about something! If you’ve ever tried to lose weight or quit smoking, you know what I’m talking about. One minute you’re fine and the next you can’t stop thinking about chocolate, or cigarettes, and before you know it, you’re at it again… It’s the thoughts that put you there.
You can notice where your thoughts are going and you can change that direction.
You are the Internal Observer of your thoughts… You get to choose where you focus Your mind.
This meditation is designed to train your mind in choosing where you will focus your thoughts.
Sunrise on the Ocean Meditation
Practice this meditation every morning for two weeks and you will begin to gain a greater ability to Observe your thoughts rather than be controlled by them.
- Get a meditation timer. I use the “Peace Alarm” app on my iPad. It should be one that you can set to gently alert you to your completion time. For beginners: See if you can meditate for no less than 10 minutes.
- Get into a comfortable position, but one where you are unlikely to fall asleep. Close your eyes.
- Begin by doing a Three Part Breath. (Beginners: start with a count of 4-6-8. Intermediate: 6-8-12. Advanced: 10-12-20.) Here’s the sequence:
- Inhale slowly through your nose, filling your stomach, to a slow count of 4 (approximately 4 seconds. Do NOT look at your watch! 😉 )
- Hold that breathe for a slow count of 6 (approx 6 seconds)
- Exhale that breath through your nose, by contracting your stomach, to a slow count of 8 (approx 8 seconds)
- Repeat the above sequence at least 8x. You can return to this breath at any time during the meditation to refocus yourself…
- Continue with a gentle, regular breathing for the rest of the exercise.
- Imagine yourself walking down an empty beach just before sunrise. Though somewhat dark, the sky is beginning to turn shades of light blue and violet along the horizon. (See below for a handy ocean recording you can listen to.)
- Find a spot to sit on the sand so you can watch the sunrise.
- Bring this visualization to life as strongly as you can. Hear the seagulls calling to one another… listen to the sound of the ocean lapping at the shoreline… hear the breeze as it whispers past your ears… feel the cool sand beneath you.
- Allow your mind to incorporate any outside sounds you may hear into your beach scene, so a siren becomes another sea bird calling… garbage trucks become the ocean crashing along the shoreline… return to the scene playing itself out in your mind.
- The sun is gradually lightening the sky and you can just begin to see it peaking out on the horizon. In the distance you see dolphins leaping and playing on the waves…
- Acknowledge any thoughts that arise as you watch this scene and then let them drift away on the next ocean breeze. Return to your breath and the scene before you. Always return to the breath when distractions arise. You, the Observer of your thoughts, get to choose where you will focus your mind. Release the thoughts and return to the breath and the scene before you.
- When the bell sounds to end your meditation, acknowledge the ocean in any way that seems best to you and see yourself walking back the way you came, returning to this time and space.
You get to choose where you focus Your mind.
Your thoughts do not hold you hostage… you do.
Here’s the thing to begin noticing…
When thoughts arise in your mind you can choose to release them because you created them… Your thoughts do not hold you hostage… you do.
That sounds simplistic, I know, but just as the outside sounds can be let go, so too can internal thoughts be released. You can choose to let them go, and point your thoughts somewhere else. You are the Observer of your thoughts… just as you watched the dolphins playing on the waves, just as you re-imagined the outside sounds as sea birds calling, you can also release negative thoughts, and choose something positive.
Always infinite possibilities… always your choice.
You can use the below as an audio background for your meditation:
Image credit: slanas / 123RF Stock Photo