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  • Writer's pictureLama Jigme Gyatso

Taming our Thoughts - 27sep22

Queenie stood: shoulders slumped, gazing at the ground and sighed, “I want to be sure I’m doing it right,” her spine stiffened, and her eyes blazed as she continued, “but those meditation manuals are too damn vague. I try not to judge whatever comes up, be it perception, emotion, intention, thought, memory, or imagining but that’s fool’s errand. For evolution has wired us to seek what we need and to flee from peril, has it not?

Sometimes I repeat the thought, label it, or describe it; sometimes impartially and other times derisively. Doing so excites my controlling tendencies rather than tame them: filling my body with tension and my mind first with aggression and then with fatigue. Is there an effective solution, elegant in its simplicity?”

“There is no simpler label than the pronoun, ‘this,’” I explained, “for acknowledging without controlling or indulging our perfectionistic tendencies. Just as man was not made for the Sabbath, but the Sabbath for man, similarly meditation is NOT a tool to enhance our concentration upon our breath, but instead, our breath is a tool to help us access our autonomic nervous system as if it was our factory installed therapist.

As you sit comfortably upon the floor, silently and mentally recite ‘Notice this…’ as you breath in. For that is when you access your sympathetic nervous system which is wired for sensory acuity.

With each exhalation silently and mentally recite ‘…relaxing!’ As that is when you access your parasympathetic nervous system which supports your physical relaxation as well as your mental release.”

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