A few days ago, I sat down to meditate. Before I began, I thought about the 5 guidelines for my attitude while meditating.

Don’t expect, force, cling, or reject anything. And don’t think while you are at it.

I was meditating outside that day. Half way through my 10 minute session, the sun came out from behind the clouds. My eyes were closed, but I saw the sunlight through my eyelids. Most importantly, I felt the warmth of the sun on my face.

I thought about how nice the sun felt. Immediately after that feeling, I wished that it would stay like that for the rest of my meditation time.

Let me repeat that: I wished it would stay like that.

I was clinging to that feeling. And the clinging came instantaneously after I felt the sun. I was amazed at how fast the clinging occurred.

I would not have noticed that kind of reaction if I had not been meditating.

My immediate next thought, after realizing that I was clinging, was to force myself to stop clinging. Then I realized that I was forcing something. So, I stopped that and told myself that I should hold onto that desire to cling. But telling myself that was forcing myself to do something else.

I felt like I was just bouncing around with no control. I was frustrated and decided to drop the whole line of thought. I focused on just breathing and attempted to forget about the whole thing.

It worked.

Immediately, I calmed down and realized that meditation gives you space in between each thought to be objective. This is the distance I was talking about previously.

I was expecting my thoughts to be one way. I immediately attempted to force them to be another way by either clinging to them or rejecting them. Thinking throughout the whole thing. I was breaking all of my attitudinal guidelines.

Just breathing got me back on track.

After that meditation session, I started noticing how I have these immediate reactions all the time.

What thoughts cause immediate reactions in you?

Photo Courtesy of Rhys Asplundh 

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