Yesterday we posted some guidance for wanting what you have. Did you find this to be difficult? It can be easier to want what you have if you get rid of the stuff that is no longer useful to you, then the things that delight you stand out like shining diamonds. You may have experienced that wonderful feeling after clearing a room of clutter. Today’s letting go practice is about clearing mental clutter.
Mental clutter, like material clutter, dulls the senses and makes us feel heavy. What is mental clutter? Any thoughts that make us doubt our Buddha nature – in laymen’s terms – the fact that we are whole and complete in this present moment. Just as we have physical possessions that have outlived their usefulness, we also have mental possessions that have outlived it’s usefulness.
What is more important in this precious human life? The things we hold on to…. or the thing we let go of?
Here’s a five step meditation to help identify mental clutter, trash it, and replace it with mental gems.
1. Come back to the here and now, by taking three minutes to focus on deep breathing. Make the exhale slightly longer than the inhale – focusing on your exhale will encourage calming of your nervous system.
2. Notice how thoughts of past and future circumstance take you away from your breath.
3. Understand that these intrusive thoughts are normal. Do not become frustrated if you have to remind yourself again and again to come back to the breath.
4. Take particular note of thoughts and worries that are ‘old tapes’ – thoughts that have been around for a long time, or if they have the nature of grasping and needing to find an answer – like “how do I get them to understand me?”, or “how do I get them to see my view?”, or even, “how could they have treated me this way?” …..This is the mental clutter.
Gently encourage yourself to let these thoughts go.
The miracle here, you will find, is that by letting go of having the answer, you will leave space for the answer to come to you.
We wish you twenty minutes of mindfulness every day!