Below will be the questions and answers to all the meditation questions we get through the form on the home page. If your question has not been answered as you wished – please email us at the address listed at the Contact Us page. If you have a new question, click here to see it answered on this page within a few days.
Q: Vishal asks, “I have been struggling with mindfulness. E.g. In the morning, when I wash my hands, Should I use the labeling technique to be mindful (i.e. When I am washing my hands, should I label in my mind, “WASHING HANDS”)? Or, should I just watch “water flowing through my hand” and not label anything? Similarly, when I am driving and a blue car just passes by, should I label “BLUE CAR Passing by”? Or, should I just watch “a car passing by” without labeling?
A: Vern says, “I think there is no need to try hard about mindfulness. It doesn’t really matter whether you label things or not… because, eventually, the labels drop off by themselves.
It would be hard for me to explain to someone how you can look at something you’re doing, and not label it anything. That would take some sort of conscious effort. When I started mindfulness I did like Thich Nhat Hanh said – I sort of said over in my mind what I was doing. Washing dishes, walking, driving, turning left, drinking coffee… etc.
Without too much time I was able to just do the thing, and be mindful of it, without naming it. I don’t remember ‘trying’, it just happened like that where one time i was conscious of not naming what i was doing.
Mindfulness is probably not all that important in the big picture… I think it must help, but how much, I don’t know. So, don’t stress out about labeling or not labeling. It all works itself out after a short while…”