The mind likes to latch onto a negative thought, and spin stories about it. As a result, we end up getting lost in a narrative filled grief, anxiety, and pain.
However, practicing genuine curiosity about your thoughts can bring about feelings of calm. Try this meditation below.
Meditation on Curiosity
Begin in a comfortable seated position. Keep your eyes open, and allow your gaze to settle at an unmoving point in front of you. Become aware of your surroundings, and already adapt a sense of wonder and curiosity for the space around you. What can you see? What can you hear, smell, and feel?
Notice any judgmental thoughts that may arise. But instead of focusing on the noise, distractions, or sensations you may feel averse to—try to shift your awareness towards observations you can be curious about. Perhaps observe the sky outside the window. Ask yourself: Why is the sky blue? Similarly, notice the underlying silence in the room. Maybe ask yourself: What is the quality of silence? Do not try to answer the questions, but simply enjoy the inquiry.
Then, close your eyes. Scan the body from the top of the head down to the tips of your toes. Notice the shape of your body and how it feels today, acknowledging any areas of tightness, fatigue, softness, or ease. Notice any part that may be calling out to you—maybe your neck, shoulders, or your hips. Try to be curious about any sensation you may feel, or maybe any emotion your body is carrying. Veer away from any negative judgment. Instead, ask yourself: What is this feeling? How does my body communicate this to me?
Move your attention to your breath. Breathe in and out naturally through the nose. Observe the breath, noticing where the breath is most felt in your body. Feel the body rise and fall as you breathe. Spend a few minutes observing, feeling, and being curious about the breath. If any thought or distraction arises in the mind, acknowledge it then steer your attention back to the rhythm of your inhalations and exhalations.
When you are ready, let go of any focus you have on the breath and simply let the mind run free. Allow it to think as many thoughts as it would like. However, instead of anchoring judgment to these thoughts—pay close attention to them. Embrace the curiosity that you’ve cultivated. How does my mind think? How does it connect one thought to the next? Notice how adapting this sense of wonder and inquiry can suddenly bring feelings of calm.
Once you feel that your meditation is complete, notice again your body—feeling the weight and shape of your body against the cushion or your mat. Listen again to the sounds that you can hear, slowly shifting your consciousness back to the room that you’re in. Then, open your eyes.