As you come to the present by concentrating on breathing, you may realize what the monkey mind is saying. You become mindful of the chatter, but more as an observer. That’s when you often notice that your thought patterns may be filled with self-judgment, criticism, worry, anger, sadness or other thoughts that make you feel resigned. These thoughts are part of your everyday life, but when you become consciously aware of them, you realize that you are not your thoughts and that you have power in how to react to them, simply by concentrating on your breath.
As you are practicing breathing exercises, prepare for mental chatter to arise. Do not try to fight it and make it disappear – this is a wasted effort and will only slow your progress. Instead, observe what is happening in there, become curious of what the monkey mind is saying, without judging and impartially. Befriend your thoughts and feelings, treat them with compassion, but keep your distance. Think of this of coming to the mind laboratory to conduct experiments – you are the researcher, and your thoughts are the subject of your study. Become fascinated with having this opportunity to realize what is happening inside you!