Meditation Practice: Place Your Attention on the Nature of the Mind

Meditation teacher Vinny Ferraro offers a noting practice to see thoughts clearly as they arise, gently note them, and return to the breath and body.

Marina Zlochin/Adobe STock

Today we will place our attention on the nature of mind, and its gross national product: thoughts. What is this phenomenon we refer to as thought? What is our relationship to it? Not only does the mind have a mind of its own, but, literally, we can have thoughts about not having thoughts. All of this is completely independent of our own doing.

It’s very easy to villainize thought as some kind of enemy of practice. We get in our heads that if there were no thoughts we would be at peace, but even that’s just another thought. So, we’ll be using a noting practice, where we practice seeing thoughts clearly as they arise, gently noting them, and returning to the breath and body. If there is no mindfulness of mind, we live in a world completely defined by our thoughts. Here, we let go of that orientation and just see things as they are. We still hear the internal talk, we still see the images, but we know them as phenomena. We see their impermanence.

It’s very easy to villainize thought as some kind of enemy of practice. We get in our heads that if there were no…

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