Do you read the labels of the food you buy?
While i am not an inveterate label-reader, i do choose "organic" over "conventional." Sometimes i look at the nutritional label to check the grams of fat or protein or carbos. Since i have an allergy to peanuts, i read some labels to see if the product contains peanuts (such as conventional M&Ms). If you have children, perhaps you read labels more closely.
Even though we may be careful about what we put into our bodies, what about what we put into our minds?
Labeling our thoughts during daily life is a steep practice, but we can begin by labeling our thoughts during meditation.
"Hearing" or "Hearing Out" labels sounds from the external world.
"Hearing In" labels our thoughts. Even though we say that thinking is "talking" to ourselves, who is "hearing" those thoughts?
Some people are visual thinkers and have images concurrent with thinking. Label those images "Seeing In," which is to say seeing the internal world.
"Seeing Out" is, of course, what happens when our eyes are open. (I meditate with closed eyes, so seldom use this label in meditation.)
"Feeling Out" refers to the touch sensations of the body, even the sensations that feel like they are happening inside the body, such as pulsing, vibrating, tingling or aches and pains.
"Feeling In" refers to the emotions or mood.
To start "reading" the labels of your mind, begin with just these 6 labels.
Hearing Out/Hearing In
Seeing Out/Seeing In
Feeling Out/Feeling In
In this way, you build awareness, you become mindful, of just what the mind is consuming.
Thanks to Sara Garrido Diaz for inspiring this blog with her March 29 blog.