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E38: Overcoming the Biggest Challenges Preventing You From Beginning Your Meditation Practice

Have you heard of this idea that 90% of the thoughts we have today are the same thoughts we had yesterday?

So we're only working with about 10% new thoughts every day. For some people, this is hard to digest and admit to. It's like, “Wow, that doesn't seem right.” But if you sit and practice mindfulness and are aware of how you are thinking an exact thought you thought yesterday, you can see that it's true.

And why is this helpful? It's helpful because if we realize this is happening, then we can take a different perspective on those thoughts and ask, “What is the validity of these thoughts?” Because if we're thinking them every day, we might want to investigate to see if they are actually true. Sometimes we think things that aren't true and it causes us stress. And you can also ask, how helpful the thought is. If you're ruminating about the same thing on multiple days, is that a waste of your brain power? It’s not about forcing yourself to not think things, but it is about being aware of your thoughts and aware of how they affect your energy level and mood.

Mindfulness Tips and Concentration

In this episode, Sarah and Jacob talk about their personal meditation practices and what they have found to best support them to gain benefit from sitting. One of the most important teachings related to meditation focus on how we handle losing focus. When we meditate we periodically lose awareness and concentration and go into a state of daydreaming or unconscious. Sarah and Jacob discuss their points of view on this phenomenon and give some practical tips for addressing this challenge. Use this link to download Sarah's "Ten Tips for Better Concentration" to help you develop your alertness during meditation.

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