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The Little Dictator

Often people will say I cannot meditate - I try and I cannot do it...as if there is a bespoke madness unique to them making it impossible. The good news we can all do it and benefit from it. The feeling that you cannot is often a misunderstanding of what meditation is.


Meditation is not an attempt to stop thoughts, its an attempt to change our relationship with them. Often we are unaware of all the chatter in our heads and our lack of self awareness creates the potential for all those thoughts and emotions to own us - to be a "little dictator" that creates and directs our moods and feelings without us noticing. Meditation is the process of stepping back from all those thoughts and observing them - it is not an attempt to stop thinking.


When we distance ourselves from our thoughts a little through even a brief meditative process we develop a more acute awareness of what is going on in our minds without needing to become overly involved in everything it is doing - and it is always doing something. We learn to listen without necessarily reacting and, over time, we become a good listener - a great skill we all benefit from! And the more we listen often the quieter over time the mind can seemingly become.


Our mind can sometimes feel like bees in a jar - lots of noise and no signal. If you can learn even briefly to step out of that jar and watch from the outside then you will see with more clarity what is going on and respond with more wisdom, no longer controlled by the little dictator that is our untamed mind - more able surf your thoughts than be drowned by them.


Try just 1 minute each day of focused attention on your breath coming back each time you are distracted from your thoughts once a day for a week and even with this you can notice that there is "you" and there is "your thoughts" - a vital distinction to make.

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