I recently read an amazing book called “The Headspace Guide to Meditation and Mindfulness” by Andy Puddicombe. Headspace is a fun meditation app with the most unique user interface. Having been a periodical user of the app, the book intrigued me to delve deeper into the whole idea of meditation and mindfulness.
Read my review of the book: Book Review
In the book, the author talks about a concept called “The Blue Sky Approach”. Quoting the sentence as it is from the book, “The sky is always blue. The clouds are our thoughts and when the mind is very busy with all these thoughts, the blue sky is temporarily obscured.”
A quick Google search tells me that an average person has anywhere between 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day. Quite a huge amount! I’m not going into the details about how many of them are negative and how many are positive. This isn’t the subject matter of this blog post.
We have no control over our thoughts. Almost all of us have a wrong notion that meditation is all about restricting our thoughts. The big revelation: meditation is not restricting our thoughts, rather it is acknowledging our thoughts. Confused?
That’s when “the blue sky approach” comes into the picture. The author tells us to imagine a clear, blue sky. A lovely sight, isn’t it? Now imagine clouds gathering and floating by. We do not assess or add labels to these clouds. Instead, we observe them. It’s only a matter of time when the clouds will clear and the sky becomes blue again.
In a similar manner, the book compares the clear, blue sky to our mind and the clouds to our thoughts. We are habituated to criticise whatever we think and pass judgement on the minutest thoughts that we have. “Oh dear, why did I think of that now!”, or “I cannot believe that I could ever have such a thought!”.
Rather than that, why not recognise the thought, accept it and let it go? It all seems too zen and in the beginning, I found it hard to grasp the essence of the concept. Once I figured it out, it brought in a new perspective.
I am quite evaluative when it comes to my thoughts. Analysing every bit of what I think and why so is like a pattern in my life. So naturally, it was difficult to put this approach into practice. As the Hindi saying goes, “der aaye, durusth aaye” (roughly translates to “better late than never”), I found myself gradually accepting my thoughts, observing them and letting them be. Believe me, when I say this, it creates a WORLD of a difference.
The underlying point of the concept is that your mind is always the same. Thoughts will arise and sometimes obscure your mind. But it is all temporary. Quoting my own poem here,
You are not your thoughts. You are the unique traits, that makes you, you.
Letting our mind be without pressurising ourselves for thinking, that’s the true meaning of loving ourselves.
Until next time, stay blessed!
Image source: Headspace App
For those interested to explore Headspace, check out the links below for the Android and iOS apps:
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