Sit back and watch

To live in the present moment requires a change in our inner posture. Instead of expanding or shoring up our fortress of “I” – the ego – which culture and often therapy try to help us do, contemplation waits to discover what this “I” consists of. What is this “I” that I take so seriously?…

Thomas Keating teaches a beautifully simple exercise to use in contemplation. Imagine yourself sitting on the bank of a river. Observe each of your thoughts coming along as if they’re saying, “Think me, think me.” Watch your feelings come by saying, “Feel me, feel me.” Acknowledge that you’re having the feeling; acknowledge that you’re having the thought. Don’t hate it, don’t judge it, don’t critique it, don’t, in any way, move against it. Simply name it: “resentment toward so and so,” “a thought about such and such.” Admit that you’re having it, then place it on a boat and let it go down the river. The river is your stream of consciousness.

Richard Rohr Watching the River, Centre for Action and Contemplation, May 10, 2016