Noting/Labeling Practice

15 Dec 2017 11:59 AM | Michael Kelberer (Administrator)

by Michael Kelberer

The basic practice:

While meditating, when you notice that your mind has wandered off, pause and notice where your mind has gone, giving that place a brief label. This label can be simple to begin with: "Thinking" "Strong Sensation" "Daydreaming." What tends to captivate your mind the most? 

As your labeling practice strengthens, you can consider allowing your labeling to become more refined: "Envying" "Disliking" "Reliving" "Future-tripping" "Fearing." 

It's easy to get judgmental about how and where our mind wanders. It can be helpful to remember that wandering is what the mind was designed to do. It's not about fixing the wandering, but becoming more aware of it.

This can be particularly helpful as we take the labeling practice off the cushion and into life. Then we can add some curiosity about when the wandering has been helpful or not. Sometimes it is.

"A note on Noting" by Stephen Levine: On our Learning blog

Meditations on Insight Timer:

Noting your emotions by Kristin Neff (of Mindful Self-Compassion fame)

Mental Noting by mPeak

Mental Noting Practice by Mindspace

And this one is an Open Awareness practice, but Tim incorporates a Labeling practice within it:

Open Awareness by Mindfulness Northwest

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