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It’s in the return!


As we practice meditation, we have the opportunity of returning to awareness over and over. The practice is “in the return” (Sharon Saltzberg).

When I first began meditating (vipassana or insight meditation) I would become frustrated when I had been lost in a river of thoughts. I wondered why the thoughts plagued me so much, and why I couldn’t just enjoy a nice, quiet, peaceful meditation.

When I would become aware that I had been lost in thought, I would snap myself back and try to “re-center” myself. It was like “jet lag” as I tried to gather myself back into the moment. I heard John Cabot Zen suggest that we don’t have to hurry back, we can hang out with the thoughts – we are already here.

A wise teacher once said that there are as many thoughts as dust particles in a ray of sunlight. When I started to consider how far away the sun actually was, and how many dust particles that might actually be, I began to realize that I might not be able to stop the thoughts from arising in my own mind. The mind naturally manufactures thoughts, some 60,000 a day. I began to become curious about how to respond to these thoughts.

It’s in the return, again and again.

The question is “How are you with yourself in that moment, in the moment that you realize that you have been lost in thought?  Are you gentle and kind with yourself, even grateful that you are awake again?

I encourage ultimate care for your self – moment to moment.

It’s in the return!

Until Next Time,
Blessings, Love and Peace Matters,
Lori Woodley


  1. paul  August 5, 2014

    Lori you continue to amaze and encourage me…As I explore and struggle and practice TM. ….or just quieting my mind and wonder where do these thoughts come from…how do I make them stop…I was told that if we give the thoughts no importance they travel on down the river unobstructed…..much like words ..If we give them no importance they can’t hurt us. Now if I catch myself dwelling on some irrational or nonsensical thought I laugh..There I go again…and off that thought
    goes and I experience moments…cherished moments of peace.
    When I asked someone where my center was I was told to mentally in my mind say hello to myself…and was told that place is my center and where thoughts come from. Thought I’d share…thanks


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