“Imagine a train station with a platform and there lots of trains arriving and departing in both directions at different speeds. On the platform there is a person sitting watching the trains pass by – it’s you, just breathing, observing and being fully present.

 

The idea is to see and observe these trains as your thoughts – some trains could say ‘childhood memories’ or ‘past experiences’, another train could says ‘why did that person say such and such about me’, then there are trains with thoughts about your plans or worries for the future. There are thousands of trains with different thoughts, some of which are useful and take you to an interesting destination, other trains take you to a more unhelpful place that you didn’t really want to go to at all.

 

What often happens is that, without realising it, we live our lives jumping from train to train without even knowing that the train platform exists and that we have the option of getting off the train and back onto the platform!

 

Obviously, this isn’t easy to do, and it takes time and practice to learn that we can actually sit on the platform bench and observe and think about what trains we choose to get on. We have to be kind and not scold ourselves when we get on a train that takes us somewhere we don’t like or that doesn’t serve us well. And if that happens, we simply take a deep breath and hop back onto the platform.

 

So many times, when we are being hard on ourselves or attaching to unhelpful stories, it’s because we are on a train, and we don’t even realise it. We want to work towards sitting on that platform, present, observing, with kindness and no judgment.”

Credit: Querido Pedro, September 2020

(Spanish podcast with English translation by Maddy)

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