You sit down, get comfortable, straighten your back, allow the attention to rest on the breath and within five seconds bang! away goes the mind. Normally you might either fight these thoughts and feelings or get washed downstream with them. In mindfulness though, the invitation is to notice this pulling away from the present moment and come back to just the bare knowing of what is happening right now. And we do this again and again and again.
Therefore its not important what turns up in the mind; the content is just the content and it arises, hangs around a while and disbands before being replaced by an endless supply of more content. Instead, the practice is how we relate to what is arising. So the intention is neither to deny and push back against what is present, nor get drawn in and overwhelmed by it, but rather, to observe and witness it as best we can.
So mindfulness is a balancing relationship with whatever is present and this being balanced needs a light touch and a gentle and kind awareness of what is here. That is how we try to relate to ourselves whilst practicing
I wrote this having listened to Episode 1 of Sharon Salzburg’s Metta Hour podcast on Spotify. This episode contains a lovely mindfulness practice at the end as well.
The part of the practice that really struck home for me and inspired this short post was from about 25 minutes in and you can listen to this below