Listening to the gentle voice of Bob Stahl*, as he guides our class into hearing meditation, I become aware of active mind, quick to jump in, and associate, and anticipate, and judge. Each sound, heard, labeled, and superimposed with thoughts, and ensuing feelings, and urges to act.
Not a bad thing. Mind needs to decide, does sound mean danger or not? can I stay seated in meditation chair, or is some other action required? To that end, mind uses all resources at its disposal, in form of memory, deductive reasoning, and stored in wisdom. I understand.
From useful attention, to hyper-alertness, however, the mind easily leaps. Sitting, I surrender to easy flow of breath, in and out, in and out, in and out . . . and give mind permission to take a break. What could possibly happen during next few minutes of meditation? AC, throats clearing, hallway noises, . . . all heard, in trust, as if for the first time. And then, an island of calm. Sweet.
* Bob Stahl is trainer for MBSR Practicum towards MBSR teacher certification (MBSR stands for Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction)