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Posted by on Jan 18, 2015

21-Day Meditation Challenge – Day 19: Name That Tune

Here’s a meditation technique that’s easy to use, let’s your mind run free and is fun to do.  I call it “Name that Tune” or more accurately “Name that Thought.” It’s a process of bringing awareness to thoughts, what they are, and the fact we are thinking them rather than being them.

Here we go:

First step, find a comfortable seat. I find that if I am not perfectly comfortable where and how I am sitting my thoughts are easily distracted. For me sitting in an upright chair like a ladder backed chair, you know the old fashioned kitchen table chairs, is best. I also like sitting crossed legged next to a wall for support, that way I can stretch out my legs for comfort if necessary.

Next begin the meditation by calming the breath and easing into a comfortable thought pattern. Let your thoughts run free. Enjoy your thoughts, but be aware your are thinking. Try not to lose yourself in your thoughts.

After a period of time, once the breath and body have become still start to label or as I say “name that tune.” As you think of something add a label to that thought.

First start with a simple label of either IN or OUT. Is the thought something you notice outside your mind or is it inside? Ex. If you hear something label it OUT, if you think something label it IN. If you feel a twitch or pain label it OUT, if you think a wonderful cosmic thought label it IN. What I do is mentally repeat the IN or OUT label until I notice a switch to either in or out. Now here is the tricky part, if you notice you are thinking about thinking, HOORAY, label it OUT.

After a while the outside thoughts begin to dissolve into inside thoughts. Now we can start the next series or progression of labeling called THINKING/ FEELING. As you notice your thoughts begin to see which quality they are and label them either thinking or feeling. Is it a thought you are thinking or is it something deeper, a feeling or emotion? If it’s an emotion, BRAVO! Now label it. Which emotion is it? This is a more subtle and deeper labeling. After practice it may bring you to a more gentle layer of awareness which you can then use outside of formal meditation.

Now, it you have a tune or song playing silently in your head this whole time, go ahead “Name that Tune.”

~ Bill O’Connor