What should I do when my mind wanders during meditation?
Our mind got its own way of behaving. It’s often occupied with something from the past or worrying about the future. So, when your mind starts to wander during breathing focused meditation, like mindfulness and vipassana meditation, just relax, its normal and it happens to all of us.
The intention with meditation is not to completely empty our minds or prevent thoughts from wandering but training our ability to return to our breath. Our present moment awareness. When you are breathing through your nose notice that the air is a little bit warmer on exhale than on inhale.
Our breath is what is happening right here and now. Our present moment. So, when a thought appears, just notice and accept it – don’t try to control it. Then gently return your awareness to your breath. Our mind then becomes the observer of the minds thoughts.
When we focus on our breath we call it the breathing anchor. This is where we «stay» during meditation. We return to our breath when our minds wanders. The more experienced we are as meditators, the longer we can stay in our present moment awareness during meditation.
Be kind to yourself when your mind is wandering. It happens to all of us. We are not computers than can be turned off. Just return your awareness to your breath. Breathing in through the nose and out through the nose.