I first heard the phrase "just start over" used to describe a spiritual practice some 20 years ago from the Buddhist meditation teacher and author Sharon Salzberg. During a mindfulness meditation retreat she taught at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, Sharon told us about her own struggle with learning to meditate - how she would become lost, distracted, and discouraged and would constantly second-guess herself and her teachers. Gradually she learned to pay no attention to the mental and emotional chatter and to just start over by meditating on her breath as she had been instructed. "Just start over" became her mantra, which she now teaches to her students.
Each time Salzburg repeated this phrase during the retreat, I was deeply inspired. I realized that she was pointing to a radical attitudinal shift in which you cease to be reactive when you are knocked off your intended path. Instead, when you discover that you have lost your focus, you just begin again without getting caught up in emotional stories about why you can't achieve your aim or judgments about how unworthy you are or why the change you seek is impossible.
What are you noticing about getting lost and starting over?
for Mindful Monday