Transitional Moments

It’s easy to get caught up in the busyness of the day and not take a moment to yourself to pay attention to your thoughts. Meditating is a life-changing practice to start (in fact, it’s been the most important skill I’ve learned). But if you immediately go about your life after your meditation and don’t pay attention to your breath or thoughts or sensations for the rest of the day, then you’re probably not getting the full experience of meditation.

I’m guilty of this every single day. It’s a constant challenge. But I believe that meditation should be something you are constantly reminding yourself of throughout the day just by simply paying attention to half a breath.

Sam Harris, the founder of the Waking Up app and meditation guru, talks about paying attention to transitions a lot: when you sit down at your desk, stand up to go to the bathroom, or get in your car to go to work.

Each day, the Waking Up app sends you a bite-sized snack of meditation wisdom from Sam Harris himself. The Moments, as they call it, are usually between 30 seconds and 1 minute. They are a beautiful reminder everyday to pay attention to your experiences.

Below is a transcript from today’s Moment that I found powerful (especially for those who are struggling with developing meditation as a habit):

It’s often said the whole point of meditation is self-transcendence. And many people find this frustrating. They naturally feel that if they haven’t experienced the loss of self clearly, they aren’t making any progress.

But progress and meditation is more paradoxical than that. The truth is there is no self to transcend. It’s not like you have a self and then you get rid of it through meditation. There really are only 2 stages in meditation practice:

The first is to pay enough attention to your experience to realize that there is no self in the middle of it. There’s no I or me in the center of your head. There’s no ego bobbing like a cork on the stream of consciousness. There’s only the stream.

And the second stage is to just get used to this. Sights, sounds, sensations, thoughts, emotions. Everything is arising all by itself. As is the noticing of these things.

The only progress to make is to grow more familiar with what is already the case. So you can relax. Your mind in this moment with all its seeming imperfections is the very thing you are looking for. And you will find it by recognizing that even the process of looking is happening all on its own.

Sam Harris, The Waking Up App

Cheers to paying attention to transitions,


This was day 17 of the 30-day blogging challenge!

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Published by Jonah Baer

Florida State student | Memphis, TN native

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