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Feb 9: Watching Panicked Thoughts Arise…and Pass Away March 3, 2012

Posted by Living Abundance in Uncategorized.
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I had a good sit this morning, I was able to get really concentrated. It was really a neat experience to be able to note each passing moment very minutely, to be aware of every sensation of each breath. I noticed that my awareness was very sharp and precise, and I felt quite alert. Although I should mention that there were a few moments of feeling drowsy and slipping into a half-dozing state.

I have been trying a new sitting position the past few days, so my back was still feeling a little bit sore while I was sitting, but I tried not to dwell on it but instead focus my awareness on something else. I tried to keep in mind that the pain would pass as soon as I got up and started moving again.

The thought in the mind when the bell went off was “aware of the breath in the body.” But I did cheat here because I checked the time at 2 minute before the bell and tried really hard for the last 2 minutes to stay on the breath.

A fascinating experience to watch this time was when I all of a sudden realized that I needed to book an airplane shuttle for my upcoming holiday. As soon as this thought occurred, I fell immediately into panic mode: Oh my gosh! I have to book this right now! I can’t forget this or I will be stranded at the airport, etc.

The panic mode lasted for a few minutes before I noticed what was happening, and smiled to myself. I let my awareness come back to the breath and relax my suddenly tense body. I realized that this was important enough that I could let the thought go without causing a problem. I knew it would come up again later and I would deal with it then. This is very empowering for me, to realize that my worries don’t always have to be dealt with in the present moment, but instead can be let go to come back again later at a more appropriate time.

It was also neat to watch the whole process from start to finish of this panicked state arising and passing away. Because I was experiencing good concentration in this sit, I was able to see in slow motion each step of the process: the thought arising, the mind making a story out of it, the body tensing up at the anxious thoughts, the awareness coming home to the present moment, and the mind and body becoming calm again.

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