One of the admittedly quite counterintuitive skills we learn in mindfulness is the ability to distinguish between thinking and awareness. To use a classic metaphor from consciousness studies, awareness is like the empty stage. Thinking is one of the actors that trots onto that stage—along with seeing, hearing, feeling etc. When we’re mindful of our thinking, we have more choice about whether we want to reinforce a particular pattern of rumination or not. This is the beginning; part two goes more deeply into the thinking process.
Also called “Catch Thinking in the Act”, this meditation is from the book Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics, coauthored with Dan Harris and Carlye Adler. The book’s dozen or so other meditations can be found on the 10% Happier app. Enjoy!