by Shelly Young, MA, LPCC, LADC
The Mind is often like a monkey. It jumps around all over the place and we find it difficult if not impossible to control. Many people are desperately trying to make things right by stopping their thoughts. This is unfortunate because they are hardly ever successful at this futile endeavor. Even if they are, it is only a temporary solution. Some people talk to me about books that instruct them to quiet the mind by pushing out intrusive thoughts. They often report that they tried to meditate this way and have failed.
All of the suffering that comes from intrusive, agitating, negative thinking can come to an end with training. The Basic Mindfulness System of meditation training is one of many systems taught in our culture and offers some very simple techniques for relieving the suffering that comes from the stories that we tell ourselves.
An important key in mindfulness training is to not attempt to resist or push thoughts away. This will allow you to make friends with every thought. As long your thoughts are your enemies you will suffer. How do you make friends with thinking? You can begin by training yourself in focusing skills.
Here’s a simple way to begin your training: Sit down with a straight posture, close your eyes and focus only on external sounds. If thoughts arise, just let them be in the background without trying to get rid of them and direct your attention back to external sounds only. It doesn’t matter how many thoughts you have, how often they arise or what their content is. Just bring your attention back to sounds only. To be successful at this, every thought must be recycled back into the technique. This means that no matter what you think while you are practicing, immediately return you attention back to external sounds.
This is just the beginning. The Basic Mindfulness System offers various transformative tools for achieving the peace of mind that you want. Personalized instruction or a group is most helpful.
“I carried the cross of guilt, fear, anger shame and regret. The negative thoughts were obsessive. I cried out for help. Everyone heard me loud and clear. The lifelong prescriptions read: Lithium, Thorazine, Xanax, Klonopin, Valium, Ativan, Librium, Zoloft, Lorazepam and Prozac. The side effects were always much worse than the illness. The negative thoughts came and I took another pill.
Through persistence and good luck, I met Shelly Young. She introduced me to one of the most powerful drugs I ever encountered: “The Basic Mindfulness System” developed by Shinzen Young. Within the first week I was hooked. It was working and I was managing my thoughts. It works through practice. By practicing even when you feel good, you prepare for the bad days and they become good days. The best news of all is that there are no side effects from The Basic Mindfulness System.”
Marten Griego, Award winning author of Leaving the House of Tears
Shelly Young will be offering her next Introduction to Mindfulness class on January 10, 2013 from 5:15-6:30pm. If you are interested in attending, please contact our office at 505-884-1114.