Let’s begin this adventure by looking closely at your Inner Attention, your Chattering Mind and the relationship between the two.
Your Chattering Mind – the part of you that is always talking between your ears – is most times projecting into your future or muddiling through your past.
Your Inner Attention, if you’re like most humans, is in the habit of getting swept into your Chattering Mind’s stories. And having your Inner Attention unconsciously lost in your Chattering Mind cuts you off from the open, fresh aliveness of you in the present moment.
Exploring your mind in this way is called Mindfulness. Mindfulness is a practice of consciously building your Inner Attention’s ability to be more clear, focused and present.
As an experiment, commit to a day of paying attention to what your Chattering Mind is saying.
A helpful tool for your exploration is your breath.
Your breath is always happening in the present moment. So when you notice that your Inner Attention is lost in your chatter, practice bringing it back to the present moment through your breath.
Simply, place your Inner Attention on the feeling of breathing. Nothing fancy or too complicated – just feel what it feels like to breathe. When your Chattering Mind comes up with any and all reasons to focus on something else, just note this as “thinking” and bring your Inner Attention back to your breath.
When you’re feeling your breath, let it relax and slow down. You may realize that when your Inner Attention is unconsciously lost in your Chattering Mind you are creating a shallow breath or even holding the breath. So, when you notice your Inner Attention is lost, kindly bring it back to your breath and let your exhale lengthen and relax.
Then, get curious –
What do you most often find yourself saying to yourself?
How does it feel when your Inner Attention is lost in your Chattering Mind?
How does it feel when you bring your Inner Attention to your breath?
What does connecting your Inner Attention to your breath and the present moment feel like?
The answers to these questions are just for you. Use them as a tool to better know your Chattering Mind, how it works and what it is saying. Also, let it be a practice in building and strengthening your ability to use your Inner Attention consciously. Most importantly, begin to pay attention to your experience of this human life as you get more connected to the here and now.
April 14, 2014 at 3:08 pm
Thanks for the straightforward description. I’ve practiced a bit with these over some years. It’s good stuff. Isn’t it great to enjoy breathing?
April 14, 2014 at 3:26 pm
nice to “meet” you viewpacific! yes, it can be. it is definitely a simple, yet strong tool to get you grounded in the here and now.