From one of my favorite meditation teachers, Sharon Salzburg (who has a new book out, The Force of Kindness: Change Your Life With Love and Compassion). Sharon posted this on her Facebook page, and I thought I’d share it here as well.
“Though a convention, a new year can mark new beginnings, bringing thoughts of forgiveness and starting over. This is about meditation (and life) from Real Happiness: The moment you realize you’ve been distracted is the magic moment. It’s a chance to be really different, to try a new response—don’t tell yourself you’re …weak or undisciplined, or give up in frustration, but simply let go and begin again.”
I’ll add that the “magic moment” to which Sharon refers is, in my opinion, the moment in which you’re rewiring our brain. Every time your mind wanders, it’s an opportunity, not a failing — another chance to notice, and bring your awareness back to the moment, with kindness to yourself, again and again — kind of like doing reps when you’re lifting weights.
Any repeated experience — in this case, noticing your distraction and then bringing yourself back — is what builds more and stronger pathways in the brain.