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Today is Friday, so I will meditate once today using my practice and at least one other time outside of my practice with a guided meditation or still meditation. I think it’s important to have some structure and some spontaneity in your meditation practice, but please try different things and do whatever feels right to you. Having a theme for each day of the week helps to ensure important thoughts and ideas are brought to the conscious level on a regular basis.
The themes for Friday are Detachment and Non-Judgment. These two things are very closely related to one another, but let’s discuss detachment first. Surrender teaches us to let-go, but detachment is the finish line for this concept. When you have detached yourself from something, you have fully surrendered to the idea of letting it play out however it may and you have accepted whatever result comes about. With this practice, we are buying back our own mental energy. When we are attached to specific thoughts, ideas, or outcomes, it weighs very heavily on us. How could it not? If you were expecting to get a promotion and it doesn’t happen, then how in the world could you not be disappointed by that? The only way you can not be disappointed is by not being attached to a rigid expectation in the first place. In being attached, you have created anxiety around the anticipation of the event and your worry as to whether it will go exactly as you wish AND you have set yourself up for disappointment all at the same time. This is a mental drain that sucks the LIFE out of us. Detach yourself and you’ll gain all that mental energy back, which you can use for great purpose. The practice of non-judgment will have a similar effect, but in a slightly different way. Part of detaching from something is acceptance of non-judgment about that particular thing or situation. You no longer judge every little thing and instead you simply witness what’s taking place. This can be difficult and will require some practice. What you’ll notice when you become conscious around this concept is that we judge everything. Everything we see, we judge. This is not good for your Soul. Non-judgment is the solution.
Our centering thought for today is “I am not attached to outcomes”. When you find yourself saying things like “I hope it works out that way”, then you have attached yourself to an outcome. Recognize the significance of this the next time you have a rigid expectation. Ideally, we live life in constant amazement and with infinite flexibility open to all possibilities and seeing the beauty in each. Let’s use an example scenario… You are driving by a store that you know has what you need to finish a project you’re working on, but it’s a national holiday and you’re not sure if the store is open. In your mind, you’re thinking “I really hope this place is open so I can finish this project” but when you arrive to find the store is closed, your emotions start to file in. It could be frustration, anger, or even victimization. You might take it personally! As if they closed the store just to mess with you on your day off! Now consider the alternative, detached thought process. You are driving to the store, but instead of thinking “I really hope this place is open…”, your thought instead is “if they aren’t open, I’ll just come back tomorrow. Today, I will work on something else or do something fun with my kids…” What you accomplish with detachment is an open mind. The acceptance of all possibilities. This is how life is supposed to be lived. If the ideal situation doesn’t work out, then we move to the next best thing effortlessly. ALL of nature works this way. (I will say the centering thought for today 7-10 times before meditation and 7-10 times after or until I feel truly connected to the meaning of the words. This helps to ensure our centering thought reaches the surface of our consciousness all day long.)
The meditation mantra I will use today is “I witness all…and judge nothing”. I prefer to use a mantra in close connection with my breath during meditation. However, if that’s too difficult or uncomfortable for you, then find a way that’s more comfortable and do it that way. Being comfortable is more important than anything else for your meditation. When I breathe in, I will mentally say “I witness all…”, then as I exhale I will mentally say “and judge nothing”. On the exhale, you should experience the feeling of effortlessness wash over your entire body. Try not to alter your breathing frequency, but if you can’t help but think about it, try to breathe just slightly less often than you normally would. If you want to set a timer, feel free to do that. I would recommend no timer and just stay in your meditation until you feel it’s naturally time to finish. It may be 15 minutes later or 45 minutes later. Whatever your body-mind needs, listen to it.
The mantra today will plant the seed in my consciousness that I am just the Witness. We so often try to “play God” by controlling every aspect of our existence. This practice of non-judgment and detachment will help us learn to do the exact opposite. Between Thursday’s practice of Surrender and today’s practice, we are buying back huge amounts of mental energy that can be redirected toward our dreams, passions and Dharma. These practices are also the best way to quiet your internal dialogue, which has some profound effects on your ability to make rational decisions, get better sleep, and even be more kind and loving to those around you. Today, when you are in the Mall or a busy place with lots of people, close your eyes and take one slow, deep breath. When you open your eyes, tell yourself that you are not going to judge anything you see. You are just going to SEE everything and that’s it. Just use your eyes, nothing else. Then, scan around and just SEE all there is to see. I use this tool every single day. You can use this tool to help detach, to help appreciate the moment or to help center yourself in a crowded and turbulent situation.
Happy meditating and I hope it helps! 🙂