A 10-Minute Meditation for Focusing the Mind

This simple guided meditation explores how we can gently guide the mind back to the breath when it wanders toward thoughts and sensations.

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The moment of noticing a thought is a very powerful moment. It’s really where the real meditation occurs. That’s because there’s a spark of insight at that point, what in technical terms is called meta-awareness: you’re aware of your thought process, not just caught up in it. Now at that moment, there’s lots of possibility.

You can touch that thought and gently bounce back to attention on the breath and your body. But you might also say “Oh damn, there I go thinking again, I just can’t get away from this thinking and do this meditation.” We call that “entertaining the messenger.” When the messenger comes to the door and says “Hello, here’s the message,” instead of just taking the message—in this case, a cue to bounce back to the breath—we decide to get into a whole argument and keep the messenger around for a while.

Rather than entertaining the messenger or fighting with the messenger, it’s nice if we can just take the message. Thought—breath. And one of the wonderful things about meditation—many people have said this, and