Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Insight Meditation

I recently re-read a book that seemed very true to me when I was a mother of two little-bitty kids. Buddhism for Mothers seems even more true now that I'm the mother of a nine-year-old and an almost-teenager.

I was profoundly un-Buddhist, un-calm, and insane this afternoon so I can't claim that I've successfully incorporated all of the concepts in the tome, but I am aware of my situation.

That's gotta be worth something.

Check it of the types of meditation that Sarah Napthali describes is Insight Meditation. Her explanation is superior to mine, but the concept that captured me is the idea of labeling our thoughts as they enter our head - with no judgment. The benefit seems to be that acknowledging our thoughts (instead of running away from them or trying to cover them up with distractions) releases us from their tyranny. It sounds weird but it's been very true for me.

Here's what she says about it:
"As we perceive our attention wander from our breath we make a mental acknowledgement: if we feel an ache we note, 'hurting, hurting, hurting' until the ache subsides; if we start reliving an argument we label our memroies, 'remembering, remembering, remembering' before returning to our breath. If we hear a distracting noise we note, 'hearing, hearing, hearing' and if we start wondering what we'll make for dinner we label, 'planning, planning, planning.' "(Napthali, p. 174)

Although I have not taken the time to do true meditation in silence this week, I've found myself labeling my thoughts during the day. As a result, I notice how often my thoughts are "worrying, worrying, worrying" or "judging, judging, judging." Another rather frequent visitor is "angry, angry, angry." The really wild thing is that I only need to repeat the word a few times (usually) before the feeling moves away and doesn't bother me anymore.

Today really was a rough day and I didn't handle myself very well. As a result, I've been in a "regretting, regretting, regretting" mode for a couple of hours. The feeling isn't going away.

But you know what? I'm not going to run away from it.
...and I did manage to write five sentences today.

That, my friends, makes me "grateful, grateful, grateful."

1 comment:

Megan Willome said...

Ah, yes! From "angry, angry, angry" to "regretful, regretful, regretful." Grateful for you!