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Meditation Is Not About the Breath

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hey, welcome back to your Daily Mindfulness. I think when a lot of people think about meditation or what it's all about, they know that it has to do with focusing on something. And often the first thing that comes up is the breath and they think, okay, so meditation is all about focusing on the breath. And I want to challenge that here. There is something to being able to stay present to the breath and following the breath and learning about the breath, seeing that it comes and it goes, it arises and passes.

And that's teaching us about the nature of experience. That it's impermanent. It shifts. There's a new beginning moment to moment. So we can learn that by focusing on the breath.

But in my experience, meditation is much less about what we're focusing on and much more about working with the mind that pulls us away from what we're focusing on. And I'm sure you've experienced this in your own meditation practice. You tried to maybe attune to the body. Or even right now, as you're trying to focus here. We can do it.

We know how to pay attention. We know how to be aware. We've all had moments of that. But where the real practice comes in. Is when the mind starts pulling us away or when all of the thoughts and the mental chatter and the judgment or the sensations or the emotions, the inner and outer chaos of our lives create some tension that makes our attention go someplace else.

So when we're talking about meditation, even if our anchor point, our stability point is something like the breath or the body, or perhaps even a mantra, it's important to keep in mind that it's not so much what we're focusing on, but how we're working with all of the things that are pulling our attention away from that. And each time the mind wanders, it's an opportunity. That's our practice. That's when we get to see how the mind seduces us into wanting to pay attention to something else. How two minutes into being with the breath, the mind goes, ah, this is boring.

I should check my phone instead. We're learning all the ways that that actually comes up in day-to-day life. In a conversation with someone, while we're trying to do work, we get distracted. The mind tells us we should be doing something else. But it's just like a jumpy little chipmunk going from one thing to the next, to the next to the next.

The more we can spot that, the more we can practice not getting caught up in it. And the more we can practice and train bringing the attention back, the more we develop that inner stability, that inner strength and that more grounded quality of peace. That's what we're working with. And it happens when we work with the mind that's wandering away from this moment. So we'll continue to explore this as we always do in our meditation practice.

But keeping in mind also as you go about your day. As always thank you for doing this practice because it's not easy. It takes some work, but it's a powerful resource to develop in your life. And I'm proud of you for continuing on that journey. I'll talk to you soon and take care.

Cory Muscara

4.8

Meditation Is Not About the Breath

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hey, welcome back to your Daily Mindfulness. I think when a lot of people think about meditation or what it's all about, they know that it has to do with focusing on something. And often the first thing that comes up is the breath and they think, okay, so meditation is all about focusing on the breath. And I want to challenge that here. There is something to being able to stay present to the breath and following the breath and learning about the breath, seeing that it comes and it goes, it arises and passes.

And that's teaching us about the nature of experience. That it's impermanent. It shifts. There's a new beginning moment to moment. So we can learn that by focusing on the breath.

But in my experience, meditation is much less about what we're focusing on and much more about working with the mind that pulls us away from what we're focusing on. And I'm sure you've experienced this in your own meditation practice. You tried to maybe attune to the body. Or even right now, as you're trying to focus here. We can do it.

We know how to pay attention. We know how to be aware. We've all had moments of that. But where the real practice comes in. Is when the mind starts pulling us away or when all of the thoughts and the mental chatter and the judgment or the sensations or the emotions, the inner and outer chaos of our lives create some tension that makes our attention go someplace else.

So when we're talking about meditation, even if our anchor point, our stability point is something like the breath or the body, or perhaps even a mantra, it's important to keep in mind that it's not so much what we're focusing on, but how we're working with all of the things that are pulling our attention away from that. And each time the mind wanders, it's an opportunity. That's our practice. That's when we get to see how the mind seduces us into wanting to pay attention to something else. How two minutes into being with the breath, the mind goes, ah, this is boring.

I should check my phone instead. We're learning all the ways that that actually comes up in day-to-day life. In a conversation with someone, while we're trying to do work, we get distracted. The mind tells us we should be doing something else. But it's just like a jumpy little chipmunk going from one thing to the next, to the next to the next.

The more we can spot that, the more we can practice not getting caught up in it. And the more we can practice and train bringing the attention back, the more we develop that inner stability, that inner strength and that more grounded quality of peace. That's what we're working with. And it happens when we work with the mind that's wandering away from this moment. So we'll continue to explore this as we always do in our meditation practice.

But keeping in mind also as you go about your day. As always thank you for doing this practice because it's not easy. It takes some work, but it's a powerful resource to develop in your life. And I'm proud of you for continuing on that journey. I'll talk to you soon and take care.

Cory Muscara

4.8

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