Observing thoughts

Today had an unfortunate episode – a disagreement and upset that I regret happened. In the hour or so after that though, I reached a deeper understanding and appreciation for how meditation encourages us simply to observe our thoughts.

As I walked my dog following the upset, my mind kept looping over thoughts about what had just happened. How I was right, but at the same time could have handled things better. How I shouldn’t have to handle things better. What could have been said next. What wasn’t said. The response I ‘should’ have got. And so on.

Some of those thoughts are useful – those where I can see how to handle things better in future. Most of them certainly aren’t – I’m right; I should have heard this; I deserve better.

Unexpectedly, my mind seemed to decouple from the thought process. The strong feelings that these kind of thoughts might raise didn’t arrive. Without engaging with the thoughts, merely noting that they’re occurring, I recognised that the next activity that occupies me these thoughts will swiftly pass. It seems obvious that this is so, but the experience of simple observing and moving on is a refreshing change!

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