Watching the Mind #2



Watching the Mind Part 2 is a further explanation to Watching the Mind Part 1. If you haven’t viewed and practiced Part 1 we encourage you to have a go at it. It’s a great tool to experience more peace throughout the day, and it only takes a minute or so to do it.


There are a couple of important aspects to the Watching the Mind exercise.  Firstly, it’s impossible to do it wrong. What ever we’re doing when we close our eyes to observe and count is absolutely perfect – we can’t do it wrong. The trick is: to have no expectation of what will happen when we close our eyes, and allow whatever we notice to be there just as it is.


Secondly, it doesn’t matter how many thoughts we count. Some days over a one-minute period we may count 2 or 3 thoughts, other days 20. The reason there’s a change in the number of thoughts is a function of the state of our body or nervous system whenever we close our eyes to observe. Our body and nervous system is continually changing - so it doesn’t matter how many thoughts we count.

Thirdly, the content of the thoughts is irrelevant. Sometimes the content appears to be extremely relevant and important, but in the end it doesn’t matter. Many of us have a tendency to identify with thoughts that have a familiar content – a content that can induce frustration, or sadness, or anxiety. That content, or story as we like to refer to it, can have a tendency to take a hold over us and dominate our life. By observing and counting, we create space between us and the thoughts, and within that dispassionate activity, we find that we have no interest in engaging with the content of the thoughts. In that observation and counting, we aren’t identifying with the content of the thoughts, and by doing so we allow those thoughts to move. Peace is revealed.

By doing this exercise, for as little as one minute a day, we start to change our relationship with thoughts. And we start to see that we can make different choices. Like any exercise, there is benefit in establishing a routine. We can also do it throughout the day whenever we find things are speeding up or we’re getting a bit stressed.

So re-capping: the number of thoughts we count is irrelevant; the content of the thoughts is irrelevant; also having no expectation of what happens when we close our eyes is absolutely the perfect approach - we can’t do it wrong.

We’ll leave you with an invitation to do the exercise now. Sit back somewhere comfortably, close your eyes and watch and notice and observe, and start counting the thoughts for a minute or so, and see what happens to your experience throughout the day.

We invite you get in to a routine of doing the Watching the Mind exercise. Don’t hesitate to give us feedback on how it’s going for you.