Our minds often race. It is natural. When we sit for meditation they get filled with gotta do things, should do, other ideas and soon we are in a trance.
When we are in a trance, sometimes it is like a dream when we drift away and have no idea that we have left our here and now and have fallen into a series of thoughts along a line of thoughts.
We have talked about how to wake up from a trance. Often we just realize that we are off in this dream and say to our selves “oh, look at that, I was off in a dream.”
This meditation however, is an attempt to stay completely in our bodies and discover everything we feel in our body as we walk across Central Park. By staying in our body, we awaken this enormous resource – as a listening post – and shut off our frontal lobe from taking us away from here.
The goal is to stay here and experience everything that is happening HERE.
It can train us to have this resource of our body, as a tool to bring us back when our mind takes us away into a trance or is locked up in anxiety or panic.
Recently I visited my mom and dad. I am blessed that they still thrive and during my visit I took the time to massage their feet while they were relaxing.
I often talk too much – as you know – and I felt that this was a way just to be present with them and not talk. In fact, it came to me from a story about a man who was not feeling great and how his friend, an elder, would come every day and massage his feet and not exchange anything more than the tough. The man who was massaged said that of all the people that offered help, the friend who came and massaged him without words was the most helpful visitor of all.
Sometimes the person who needs visiting is us and sometimes the person who needs to be visited, or held or touched is another.
“A single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.”
― Henry David Thoreau
(credit for finding this quote goes to Tara Brach)
So, how do we train our selves to make a deep mental path?
Isaac Stern, the great composer and conductor (I think) said that music (or maybe even life) happens between “the notes,” to quote Yo-yo Ma in his interview with Krista Tippett this morning in their podcast.
They were talking about music.
In yoga, we talk about transitions – between the postures.
And in life, well we talk about change.
Change is where life takes place, in many ways.
For me, I have been working on keeping my focus on myself – and watching myself – in the midst of my change – my minds shift from one topic to the other and when it comes awake from a mental trance.
In this meditation, we explore this concept. I hope you enjoy.
In today’s meditation, I approach the topic of being stuck in a trance – perseverating on some thought that upsets, captivates, distracts us.
Can you think of that last text, email, interaction which left your mind spinning for a bit – maybe even days? You might even be in the midst of it now. Or maybe you have a health concern. Some pain that triggers fear and concerns in your mind. Maybe it is in the body of a loved one and you find yourself thinking the worst of the worst. I have certainly been there.
When you are in the midst of a trance like that – it is hard to see ourselves in it for sure.
Well, how do we snap ourselves out of that trance? How do we return our selves to here?
Tara Brach – my guru – reminds us “we are not our thoughts, we are not our thoughts.” Easier said than done.
How do we get perspective that we are on the edge of something great or on the edge of getting thru or out of something terrible?
Well, what if I asked you to right now place your hand on your Lap. Go ahead, place your right hand on your right lap. Can you feel your pants on your right palm?