Oakville Zen Meditation

#383 "Mind circuit breakers" Jan 16 22

Applying mind circuit breakers during the day

We are doing zillion of things during the day in automatic mode, sort of being on cruise control.

This “not being aware” automatism is a critical safety and protective tool because, without it, our mind will be always focusing on these automatic behaviors such as walking or touching for example without being able to perform its main duty that is to think.

Imagine being focusing only on our body motion 24/7:

The result will be obvious; we will become pure robots like those building cars in the plants.

This is why we do many things automatically and our mind does its own stuff in different space times.

Now, imagine the reverse:

For 1 or 2 min., and in a mindful way, force your restless mind to focus on something that you never focus on. The result is immediate: you are creating what I call a “mind circuit breaker” BOOM!

All your thoughts and feelings are on pause because your mind has no other choice but to be stuck with the focused target at least for a short period of time.  Remember that, despite its enormous power, our brain-mind cannot focus on 2 things at the same time.  This is the fundamental principle of mindfulness practice.

How and when to apply these circuit breakers?

The initial step is to discover what we are doing automatically without being conscious of doing it that is without awareness.

Start the search by asking yourself this question:

 In the present moment. what I am doing without being conscious of what I am doing?

The list is almost endless. Here are a few examples:

Am I aware that:

       I am walking,

       Feeling the ground under each of my steps.

       Moving my hands for whatever I am doing such as holding my fork, writing, typing, washing them,

       holding a bag, etc...

 Am I aware of:

        The inside or outside spaces around me, of the sky above, etc...

        The surrounding sounds and noises inside, outside, in my car...

        The colors of the walls, trees, sky, and so on.

        The odors, taste of what I am eating and drinking, etc...

        The consistency of the objects I am touching and holding.

         The feeling of cold or warm water on your skin, ...etc...

As you noticed, using our 5 sensorial receptors is the most effective tool to practice mindfulness-based awareness of our surroundings in the present moment.

The other way to be mindful of something that we don’t pay attention to is our body.

Breathing is a classical pause button to anchor our mind during meditation.

It can be used also during the day as a mind circuit breaker.

Just focus on a few breathings for 1 or 2 min. Body and mind will relax.

The other option is practicing body scanning:

   You can do it on a chair or better lying down.

   Visualize part of your body such as your left foot and slowly move up to the top of the head,

   then go down to finish on your right foot.

   This is a complete full circle body scanning but it can be more selective.

   During the process, you will discover the sensations coming from the targeted zone.

I just gave you a shortlist of targets that we never think about.

Being mindful of one of them is a wonderful tool to pause your mind, acting as a circuit breaker.

Just review the list and pick the ones you fell more comfortable to start with. Thank you