How to not-think

April 24, 2017

Thinking is my natural state. But I don’t like to think.

That’s one of the reasons I meditate.

Meditation is an exercise to distance yourself from your consciousness, for a brief amount of time.

When you shut your eyes, thoughts flood into your mind, like a projector starting up in a dark room. With a little effort, you can relax and find a spot of tranquility, a smooth surface of a lake

But as your attention slacks, thoughts rush back in.

For novice meditators, a helpful heuristic is focus on your breath”. 

It works, since it’s impossible to think while you are purely focused on your breath. 

I do something similar when I swim, another a good place to not-think.

I count laps. I have to. Keeping track of the number keeps me grounded, like following my breath. It keeps me from floating up. Because when I start wondering if I’m on my 24th or 25th lap … or details of a strange conversation last night..and if I need to buy paper towels…

Then I’m thinking again.