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Working With Dark or Disturbing Thoughts

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

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today, I'm going to talk about how we can start to work more skillfully with some of the more dark or disturbing thoughts that come up in meditation. And of course, this is really useful because how we work with these thoughts in meditation is also how we can work with them in life too. And meditation after all, really is like a mental training ground, a practice ground for the rest of our lives. So when we've been meditating and observing the mind for awhile, we really begin to see how the mind is really abundant in content.

It has lots of different kinds of thoughts and images and impulses and emotions coming and going in our experience. Now, some kinds of thoughts, we probably feel really comfortable with, you know. We see them as an okay part of our psyche, an okay part of ourselves. Thoughts about pleasant, things, pleasant emotions, for example. You know, we might like and accept them, even encourage them sometimes.

Sometimes we indulge in them. Other thoughts, though, can make us feel really uncomfortable. We might be really shocked by the types of thoughts arising in the mind and think that there's something wrong with us for having these kinds of thoughts. But you know, as I often say, what your crazy mind is doing, our crazy minds are all doing as well. So we might be surprised by how, for instance, critical, aggressive, judgemental, insecure the mind is sometimes.

These thoughts might stir up emotions like fear, anger, guilt, or shame, that feeling of unworthiness. And, you know, we may not want to think of these thoughts as part of us, part of our psyche. So we resist them, we reject them, or maybe we start to struggle with them, or perhaps we even start to beat ourselves up for being a bad person or having bad thoughts. But of course, as long as we're judging ourselves, when we're experiencing disturbing thoughts, we're simply actually creating another layer of thinking on top of the thoughts that are already there. So we're getting caught up in those disturbing thoughts, then we're adding more storylines in the mind, more noise and disturbance.

The reality is that, unpleasant as it is, we do all have these kinds of thoughts sometimes. They're just part of the normal conditioning of the human mind. But just like it's normal for the sky to sometimes have very dark clouds passing through it, it doesn't define the clarity, the expansiveness and the stillness of the sky. So your dark thoughts don't touch, affect or define your deeper nature as awareness itself. So instead of judging yourself, struggling with these kinds of thoughts in any way, just see if you can let go of all of that, let go of everything that arises in the mind.

And just knowing that from the perspective of mindfulness, a thought, is just a thought. It doesn't matter what kind of thought it is. Our task is simply to rest in our sky-like awareness and witness whatever arises in the mind. So we let go of any idea of how we think the mind should be or how we think we should be. And we simply witness things as they are.

In this way, we learn to become gradually more and more non-reactive, resilient and grounded in presence andinner peace. So we're going to explore this some more in today's meditation. So I invite you to settle in now for that. And as always, thank you for your practice and your presence here with us.

Melli O'Brien

4.8

Working With Dark or Disturbing Thoughts

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.

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today, I'm going to talk about how we can start to work more skillfully with some of the more dark or disturbing thoughts that come up in meditation. And of course, this is really useful because how we work with these thoughts in meditation is also how we can work with them in life too. And meditation after all, really is like a mental training ground, a practice ground for the rest of our lives. So when we've been meditating and observing the mind for awhile, we really begin to see how the mind is really abundant in content.

It has lots of different kinds of thoughts and images and impulses and emotions coming and going in our experience. Now, some kinds of thoughts, we probably feel really comfortable with, you know. We see them as an okay part of our psyche, an okay part of ourselves. Thoughts about pleasant, things, pleasant emotions, for example. You know, we might like and accept them, even encourage them sometimes.

Sometimes we indulge in them. Other thoughts, though, can make us feel really uncomfortable. We might be really shocked by the types of thoughts arising in the mind and think that there's something wrong with us for having these kinds of thoughts. But you know, as I often say, what your crazy mind is doing, our crazy minds are all doing as well. So we might be surprised by how, for instance, critical, aggressive, judgemental, insecure the mind is sometimes.

These thoughts might stir up emotions like fear, anger, guilt, or shame, that feeling of unworthiness. And, you know, we may not want to think of these thoughts as part of us, part of our psyche. So we resist them, we reject them, or maybe we start to struggle with them, or perhaps we even start to beat ourselves up for being a bad person or having bad thoughts. But of course, as long as we're judging ourselves, when we're experiencing disturbing thoughts, we're simply actually creating another layer of thinking on top of the thoughts that are already there. So we're getting caught up in those disturbing thoughts, then we're adding more storylines in the mind, more noise and disturbance.

The reality is that, unpleasant as it is, we do all have these kinds of thoughts sometimes. They're just part of the normal conditioning of the human mind. But just like it's normal for the sky to sometimes have very dark clouds passing through it, it doesn't define the clarity, the expansiveness and the stillness of the sky. So your dark thoughts don't touch, affect or define your deeper nature as awareness itself. So instead of judging yourself, struggling with these kinds of thoughts in any way, just see if you can let go of all of that, let go of everything that arises in the mind.

And just knowing that from the perspective of mindfulness, a thought, is just a thought. It doesn't matter what kind of thought it is. Our task is simply to rest in our sky-like awareness and witness whatever arises in the mind. So we let go of any idea of how we think the mind should be or how we think we should be. And we simply witness things as they are.

In this way, we learn to become gradually more and more non-reactive, resilient and grounded in presence andinner peace. So we're going to explore this some more in today's meditation. So I invite you to settle in now for that. And as always, thank you for your practice and your presence here with us.

Melli O'Brien

4.8

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