Tag Archives: Meditation

How to deal with pop-up thought?

“How do I stop thinking?”

“I have so much thought! I can’t stay focus!”

“How do I control my mind? I feel like I’m losing it.”

“I can’t sleep. There are so many thoughts, I can’t help it”

Just as the heart is designed to pump, the brain is designed to think, and it throws you with thoughts every 1 or 2 seconds, you can’t really control those thoughts or stop them from popping up, what can you do about them? How can you stay focused better? How can you direct attention to the here and now, to the present moment, to the things you want to do?

The answer is pretty simple… We all hear it every now and then… You might even have tried or practiced it before…

 

 

 

 

“Mindfulness”

Yes, being mindful, noticing your thought, accepting them (no judging), then bringing your attention to the present moment. How can you achieve that?

“Practice”

Yes, you need to practice, keep doing it, whenever you remember, it doesn’t just happen overnight. You can start with some simple meditation, you may learn the Benson’s relaxation method (read this). Or you can try the Leaves on the Stream here (with recordings).

冥想 VS 正念

“如何区分正念与冥想?”

这是一个我被问过几次的问题,下面的解答是基于我的实践和理解。

从广义上讲,冥想有两种类型。一是集中注意力。例如,当你专注于你的呼吸,一个单词,一个咒语,一个烛光,你放开任何引起你注意的事物,并将你的注意力集中在这一个事物上。(这种类型的一个例子:本森放松法

另一种冥想,是广泛的注意力(意识)。这就像你处于没有在进行比赛的体育馆里。你看着这整个空间。你可以像观察者一样观察整个体验,不评判,不反应。你允许事物来去自如。

第二种冥想,就是一种正念练习!正念的定义通常包括处于当下、带着觉察、不批判和接受(不过度反应)。当你在进行河流上的飘叶时,你注意并观察着你脑海中正在发生的事情。你当然可以将它概括到你的日常生活中,注意到你在哪里,你在干嘛,觉察你的想法/感受等等。

你可以随时随地练习正念。带着正念地吃,喝,工作,打字,开车,锻炼,运动,行走(即处在当下,觉察,并接受)。但是,你不能冥想着进行这一切。

有些人在走路,跑步或游泳时可能会冥想。这可以是第一类型的冥想(集中、狭隘注意力)或第二类冥想(扩大注意力)。第一类,你可能会在心里重复“一,二,一,二,一,二……”,或把注意力放在你的呼吸。第二类,你观察你的整个经历,比如你的肌肉如何运动,你看到,听到什么,觉察你的感受等等。

我会说两者都是冥想,但只有第二类是正念。希望我有把我的理解厘清吧… 欢迎分享你的看法!

Mindfulness VS Meditation

“What’s the difference between mindfulness and meditation?”

One of the questions I was asked a few times, and this answer below is based on my practice and understanding.

There are two types of meditation, broadly speaking. One is with focused attention. So for example, when you focus on your breathing, a word, a prayer, the candle light, you let go of anything that comes into your attention, and keep redirecting your attention to the thing that you are focusing on. (One example of this type of meditation here).

Another type of meditation, is with widen attention (awareness). It’s like you are in a stadium when no game is being played. You watch the whole space. You watch your whole experience, like an observer, or like a third party, non-judging, and not reacting. You allow things to come and go.

This second type of meditation, is a mindfulness practice! The definition(s) of mindfulness generally includes being present, being aware, non-judgemental, and acceptance (not overly reactive). When you practice Leaves on the Stream, you are mindful of what’s going on in your mind. You can of course generalise this to your daily life, and be mindful of where you are, what you do, what you think/feel etc.

You can practice mindfulness anytime anywhere. Eating, drinking, working, typing, driving, exercising, walking mindfully (i.e. staying present, being aware of what you do, and being accepting). You can’t do all that while you meditate though.

Some people might meditate while they walk, run or swim. This can be with either first (focused, narrow attention) OR second type of meditation (broaden attention). With first, you might be saying “one, two, one, two, one, two…” in your mind, or noticing your breathing in and out. With second, you will be observing your whole experience, how your muscle move, what you see, hear, sense, how you feel etc.

I’d say both are meditation, but only the second one is being mindful. I hope I’ve made it clear?! Feel free to share your views!

Watching the Mind-Train

Meditation Exercise: The Mind-Train

Following my favourite Leaves on the Stream (see here), I am introducing another mindfulness exercise. It is an eye-closed exercise (though possible to do it with eyes opened when you are familiar), so please read the instruction first.

Imagine you are standing at a railway bridge gazing down at three sets of train tracks. A slow mining train is on each set of tracks moving away from you. Each train is composed of a string of little coach/car. Seemingly endless, all three chug slowly along underneath the bridge.

Now, as you look down, imagine that the train to the left carries only ore composed of sensations, perceptions, and emotions (e.g. sounds you hear, hot sensation you feel, sweaty palms, sadness you notice, itchiness you feel etc). The middle train carries only your thoughts (your evaluations, predictions, and self-conceptualisation etc). The train on your right carries your urges to act (e.g. your pull to look away, your urge to scratch your face or stop the exercise, your efforts to change the subject). Looking down on these three tracks can be seen as a metaphor for looking at your mind.

Now, find a comfortable chair to sit in for a while in a spot where you won’t be disturbed and you can be quiet. Begin the exercise by thinking of something you’ve been struggling with lately, then close your eyes and picture the three tracks. Your job will be to stay on the bridge and gaze down at these three trains moving away from you. Take at least 3 minutes just to watch what comes up for you.

Mind train. (Forgive my very basic skills, it's not as simple in my imagination!)

Mind train. (Forgive my very basic skills, it’s not as simple in my imagination!)

本森放松法 (The Benson Relaxation Method)

要素

  • 重复单词、声音、短语、祷告词或肌肉活动(muscular activity)。
  • 被动地、忽视各种想法(这些想法无可避免地出现在脑海中),并耐心地把注意力放回到你重复的点。

方法的总结:

  1. 选择一个单词(比如“一”、“和”)、短句或祈祷词。
  2. 安静地坐在舒服的位置。
  3. 闭上眼睛。
  4. 放松肌肉,逐步地从脚到小腿、大腿、腹部、肩膀、头部和脖子。
  5. 慢慢地、自然地放松的当儿,在你呼气的时候,在心里重复你的单词、声音、短语或祷告词。
  6. 采取被动的态度。不要担心你做的好不好。当其他想法出现时,简单地对自己说“哦…”,然后轻轻地回到你的重复点。
  7. 持续十到二十分钟。
  8. 结束时不要马上站起来。继续安静地坐上一分钟左右,允许其他想法自然地回来。然后睁开眼睛,站起来之前再坐一分钟。
  9. 每天练习一到两次。适当的时间是早餐前和晚餐前。

你也可以在运动时引起放松反应。比如你在慢跑或走路时,注意你的脚在地面上的节奏-“左,右,左,右”– 当其他想法进入你的脑海,说“哦…”,然后返回“左,右,左,右” 当然,眼睛要睁着!类似地,游泳者可以专注于他们的划动、骑自行车者专注于车轮的呼呼声,舞者专注于音乐的节拍,其他也可以专注于他们的呼吸节奏。
(改编自Don Robertson的AHPC培训手册)

11分钟放松录音