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over and over again

I enjoyed Oliver Burkeman’s short article “Can’t keep your mind on your meditation? Relax.” (Guardian 20/01/18 Weekend). he was reviewing a new book on meditation by Dan Harris “Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics” and said…

“Getting distracted genuinely isn’t a problem; indeed, noticing when you’re distracted is arguably the whole point – the very moment in which the skill of meditation is developed…”

some people think that they are uniquely bad at meditating. “no – you don’t understand. my mind just doesn’t ever settle.” but that’s the point. our minds don’t want to settle. we are repeatedly seduced by our thoughts as they lead us into a fantasy of past or future imagining.

but getting distracted offers us a chance to really practise meditation. it is the repeated realisation that you have become distracted again which, one errant thought at a time, begins to unravel the mental distraction of a lifetime.

focussing on the breath – using a visualisation – using a mantra or simple sounds – can all provide an anchor for your attention; something to return to over and over again…

we use all of these techniques in the group classes – one might suit you better than the others – and it might be comforting to remember that…

“Getting back on the wagon, over and over, is the practice. And good luck doing that if you haven’t fallen off first.” (Dan Harris)