Notice where you feel things, where you sense things, and then see if you could, as you’re sensing things remove judgment.
So judgment would be, “Oh, this is good or this is bad.” Instead, we can try just noticing where sensation arises. “Oh, it’s coming from my fingertips. I’m noticing the soles of my feet. It’s intense. It’s sharp. It’s dull. Warm.” Judgment always come as thought packages.
Thoughts emerge and diverge all the time. So we just notice and become aware that we are aware. And as you do that, your thoughts are going to be constantly moving in and out of your attention. We don’t stop thinking, nor do we need to try stop our thoughts. We can use this constant flow of thinking to practice being.
Oftentimes we believe that our thoughts are facts. This is something most of us take for granted. We identify fully with our thoughts. We identify with our thoughts to such an extent that we might believe that we are our thoughts. For most of us, this is our default. We don’t question the possibility that we are not our thoughts.
When you were sleeping last night you may have had a dream. The dream may have felt really vivid. You may have been talking with someone, falling from the sky, trying to run fast but finding yourself glued to the floor while in your underwear. You may have woken up with your heart racing. And as you opened your eyes, you realized that it was a dream.
Right now you’re having an experience of reading these words and the experience is real. But whatever you think about this experience is just as real as the dream you had last night The thoughts of the experience are not the experience. Your experience of reading, standing or sitting right now is real. But the thought that you have about the experience Is like the dream you had last night.
Becoming aware that dreams and thoughts share a common ground, that they emerge constantly without an end is an entry point that can help us open to expericing the present moment just as it is.
I don’t have to attach to my thoughts all the time. I can treat my thinking as I treat my dreams. As we become aware that our thoughts are always emerging, always going, we can take up the practice of noticing these and as we do, repeat, “Just like a dream. Just like a dream.”
The experience you’re having right now in this moment is real. We can notice what’s real without adding a thought to it. We can sense the moment as it emerges and sense the body. Thoughts are just going to keep going because they are. And there’s nothing wrong with them just as there’s nothing wrong with dreaming—whether the dream is a pleasant dream or whether the dream is a nightmare.
Spaniards often say when there’s a mishap but no one gets hurt, “No pasa nada.” Nothing happens. We can repeat to ourselves throughout the day, when we lose ourselves deep in thought, what we would say after waking up from a vivid dream, “Just like a dream. No pasa nada.”