Let it be there. Feel it. Breathe into it… don’t try to make it go away.
If a lot of thoughts are coming up, pay attention to the body. See if there is some restlessness or discomfort in the torso. Are you wishing the sit could be over, was calmer, quieter, better? If so, check out the torso closely and carefully, looking for a place of unease – perhaps tightness, tingling, agitation, heaviness, whether in chest or solar plexus or belly. If you find something, pay attention to it and as Jon Kabat-Zinn says, put out the welcome mat for it.
Let it be there. Feel it. Breathe into it. Let the breath stroke it. Above all, don’t try to make it go away.
This has two pluses. First, paying attention to the here and now, even when it’s an uncomfortable sensation, makes us happier, in and of itself. Neuroscience supports this: simply paying attention to what is arising now activates happier circuitry in the brain, and reduces the activity of the midline narrative networks.
Second, each time we let an uncomfortable sensation just be there, we are doing a little bit to wear thin our judging, rejecting, choosing mind. This is one way we weaken the tenacious demands of our self. It may seem a small thing, but we are letting something else win, and our self lose, and that can be a significant victory.