Looking Out the Train Window
I’ll see lots of sights rushing past. Like this:
One farm goes by. The next windmill. And so on. And so on. Everything is always changing. Nothing is fixed.
- Not me.
- Not the world.
- Not other people.
And I’m not really looking out the train window. Everything is going on inside my head. The changing ‘sights’ are just changing electrical signals in my brain’s occipital lobe.
So really ‘everything is always changing’ means ‘everything inside my head is always changing.’
- Like my worries about the destination at the end of the train ride.
- Like my happy memories of other passengers I talked to yesterday.
- Like my nervous excitement… my shortness of breath in anticipating what is yet to come.
Sometimes, though — the view can get a bit stagnant. Especially for the worse. I might have a flood of unexpectedly negative thoughts in my head. I might feel like I won’t ever see the light again.
But no matter how hopeless I might get at the bleak landscape, the train always goes on. I can be surprised by how long the negative thoughts last. But they must end eventually. So I tell myself:
🔑: No matter what, this too shall pass.
This belief is almost like a meditation. I call it the Train Window Meditation. It makes me realise that all thoughts (good and bad) come and go.
🔑: So I don’t need to act on any of my thoughts
- I’ve often felt anxious about an upcoming challenge and wanted to run away. But I told myself to wait out the negative thoughts. They were just temporarily blocking the window.
- I’ve often had cynical thoughts about relationships and wanted to message my friends to not trust me anymore. But I told myself to wait out the negative thoughts. They were just temporarily blocking the window.
- I’ve often had waves of depression in the middle of work and wanted to crawl back into my bed. But I told myself to wait out the negative thoughts. They were just temporarily blocking the window.
This meditation has gotten me through a lot. Believing that my thoughts are like passing objects in a train window. It let me hang on when I couldn’t see the last ray of hope. I hope it lets you hang on too :-)