I wanted to share a great image from a guided meditation I listened to this morning via my Insight Timer app. I clicked on a Ten Minute Pause by Judson Brewer called "Anchoring in The Present Moment."
(Looks like you can listen to it for free by clicking on the above link.)
Brewer's image was of an anchor in the ocean or in a flowing stream. That anchor can be any part of our body that we choose. Traditionally it is the breath, but it can be anything -- hands, feet, whatever works for you.
The idea, which is simple, is that the current of our thoughts can carry us away to places that we really don't want to go, but sometimes are powerless to resist.
Anxiety. Fear. Worry. Tension. Anger. Sadness. And so on.
It isn't that we should consider those sorts of thoughts and emotions as things to be fought against. That produces an unproductive conflict within ourself. And why should we fight against our own self?
But an anchor can keep us from moving too far downstream, so to speak. Remembering the sensation of breathing, to feeling air entering and leaving our nostrils, can anchor us in the present moment rather than some imagined nasty place in our past or future.
Yes, this isn't exactly groundbreaking meditation news. I just found it to be a useful way of visualizing what a focus on the breath or some other physical sensation can do for us.
I've also heard a meditation teacher speak of this as our Home Base, a place to return to when we feel pulled away by unwelcome thoughts or emotions.