"During meditation, various feelings and thoughts may arise. If you
don't practice mindfulness of breath, these thoughts will soon lure
you away from mindfulness. But the breath isn't simply a means by
which to chase away such thoughts and feelings. Breath remains the
vehicle to unite mind and body and to open the gate of wisdom. When
a feeling or thought arises, your intention should not be chase it
away, even if by continuing to concentrate on the breath the feeling
or thought passes away naturally. The intention isn't to chase it
away, hate it, worry about it, or be frightened by it.
So what exactly should you be doing concerning such thoughts and
feelings? Simply acknowledge their presence. For example, when a
feeling of sadness arise, immediately recognize it: "A feeling of
sadness has just arisen in me." If the feeling of sadness continues,
continue to recognize "A feeling of sadness is still in me." If
there is a thought like, "It's late but the neigbors are surely making
a lot of noise," recognize that the thought has arisen. If the
thought continues to exist, continue to recognize it. If a different
feeling or thought arises, recognize it in the same manner.
The essential thing is to not let any feeling or thought arise
without recognizing it in mindfulness, like a palace guard who is
aware of every face that passes through the front corridor."
-- Thich Nhat Hanh, in "The Miracle of Mindfulness"
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