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I Am The Walrus

I am he, as you are she, and you are me, and we are all together. Put those words together with music, and what have you got? Hint: It's not bippety-boppety-boo!

John Lennon and The Beatles were special, that's for sure-- and I was lucky enough to have grown up listening to them. The Magical Mystery Tour album contains the song that was the inspiration for this post, and believe it or not, I think it has a lot to say about mindfulness and meditation.

For starters, consider all the moments that are scattered throughout the song: Climbing up the Eiffel Tower, sitting in an English garden, reading Edgar Allen Poe-- it may seem to be just a bunch of stream-of-consciousness babble, but it's also a compilation of unrelated experiences that are unique and insular moments or memories-- kind of like the way our minds sometimes work, when they're not plugged into analytical thought mode.

That leads me to meditation, which can be very different for different people, and even for ourselves. Essentially, meditation is about observing the mind as it thinks thoughts, and letting them pass, without assessing or characterizing them, and without attaching a particular significance or meaning to them. Allowing a thought, mood, or emotion to arise-- observing it-- and letting it pass.

That's where non-judgment and non-attachment come into play-- exercising what I refer to as the "let it go muscle". It's brain-training, pure and simple. Rinse, and repeat. Or as some meditation teachers often suggest, begin again.

If we do that consistently, with purpose and intention, we begin to develop a kind of muscle memory that enables us to better manage the challenging thoughts, moods or emotions that wash through us in the course of pretty much every day-- often, repeatedly.

Jon Kabat-Zinn is credited with having come up with a phrase that I just love: "We can't stop the waves, but we can learn to surf ". Imagine yourself surfing difficult thought, moods or emotions-- many of which involve others, or external circumstances that we can't control. We can train ourselves to ride along and respond more skillfully, through mindfulness and meditation.

Joob-a, joob-a!


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