Are you feeling stuck in your practice? Did meditation lead to big, positive life changes early on, but now years later you’re just sort of treading water with no sense of making progress? Mindfulness meditation is an extremely helpful and useful practice, but that doesn’t mean that it’s perfect, or that it has no pitfalls. In fact, it’s not uncommon for long-term mindfulness practitioners to get stuck in a particularly pernicious dead end, which is called the observer trap. Here’s what it is and how to free yourself from this cul-de-sac.
The Last Stand
Many traditions—especially mindfulness meditation—encourage you to observe your sensory experience in a neutral manner. Observe your breathing, observe emotions, observe thoughts, and so on, without reacting to them. This observer technique works really well because it gives you something like an outside perspective on your…
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