We simply become cognizant of these phenomena and let them be.
For example, it could be your neighbor is fidgety. Or a window blind keeps stirring and knocking against the sill. Or there’s a shadow that won’t stop moving within your field of vision – from some leaves on a branch outside, perhaps. Or somebody’s breathing noisily.
Because of that external “irritant” you can’t settle into your breath practice. The frustration quotient is rising and because of that, some uncomfortable old emotional habits are stirring too: a sense of failure, I’ll never get this together, just look at me messing up at something all over again, something I thought I loved and now look: I hate it.
That alone is disspiriting. Why does everything go wrong for me? Or: why can’t things just for once go easily for me? Et cetera.
Regardless of where these kinds of thought-patterns come from, in meditation we reckon with them the same way: we are less interested in their origins, and more interested in getting them in the sights of our attention, and experiencing them just as they are: as sensations in the body, as storylines of thought arising by themselves in the mind. They arise in the form of verbal phrases, as if from an on-board radio. Sometimes there are images too. Meanwhile there is tension, weight, density, intense activation of energy, somewhere in the torso. We simply become cognizant of these phenomena and let them be. We welcome them into our awareness.
Once again: be aware, and allow.
And again: be aware; allow.