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Learning to 'Sit' and 'Stay'

Day 223

It is our responsibility, as the human leaders of our minds, to tame and train our monkey/thoughts. We do this to improve our own lives, for the people we touch, and to change our human culture. This week we've seen how prone our thoughts are to wander into problems, and to make things 'true' and important that ain't necessarily so.

Just like training a dog, who can be a useful tool when well-trained (like guide dogs), or can wreak havoc when left wild (like eating your couch), you will start with some basic commands and skills. Every day, as we practice, we are leaning to 'sit' and 'stay'.

'Sit' is taking 1-3 breaths. When you notice a breath, your monkey mind stops whatever it was doing, just for a moment, and focuses on its human/awareness master.

'Stay' is taking 5+ breaths (...few minutes/hours/days/weeks/years/lifetimes...). This is where things get interesting and your mind starts its incremental transformation to goodness.


Tell your monkey to sit many times per day. This is establishing your position of leadership.

In our daily practice, we focus on stay when we observe the touch-of-the-breath in the nostrils. (Of course, every single mindfulness practice involves an element of stay!) Remember that it's not a 'problem' that the monkey wanders off (and you maybe didn't even notice!). That's just how it is right now, and you're patiently and persistently changing that.

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