by Justin Standfield
No. 9 They acknowledge that all things come and go (especially our thoughts and emotions).
What typically happens when a thought comes into your head? The most common response is that we indulge that thought, cling onto it a bit and before we know what’s happened it’s set off a chain reaction of related ideas – sometimes positive, sometimes negative. Mindful people understand that they can gain control of this process by simply allowing thoughts to come and go, without deepening their focus on a thought into a stream of sub-thoughts. This doesn’t mean that the goal of mindfulness meditation is to have an absence of thoughts, which is a common misconception. Instead, the aim is to notice that we’re thinking but not to react to it.
Meditation master, Shunryu Suzuki, put it like this: “In meditation, leave your front door and back door open. Let thoughts come and go. Just don’t serve them tea.”