I recently discovered a very simple technique that made a profound difference in my meditation practice. Instead of trying to stop my thoughts, which is a form of control and another aspect of spiritual ego, I found that all I had to do was switch from being the talker of my thoughts to being the listener. I just become the one who notices that I am thinking.
When you do this you automatically relax into the present moment. You automatically become mindful. You can do this with your emotions as well. Just notice that you are angry. It’s energy. Energy and a story that goes along with it. If you notice it without engaging with it, it transforms. This noticing can expand out into your world as you become a calm center noticing situations instead of reacting to them.
You can do this anywhere at any time. Watching your breath helps since you always breathe in the present moment. You and your breath just noticing your inner world and your outer world.
It’s all a matter of identity. Are you identifying with the conditioned mind and reactive emotions or are you identifying with the part of you that is aware of them?
Now the trick is to stay there and not get sucked back in to the old conditioned drama. Practice makes a master.