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Our Projections and Learning How to Be Present

How often are you aware of an undercurrent of thought or emotion?

Today’s blog is more of a challenge than a reflection. And it’s a surprisingly easy challenge, at least in theory anyway. In practice, you may well find it a little more difficult though. But don’t let that put you off, because if you get it right, it’s something that will surprise and amaze in equal measure – and it's all to do with projection.

How much of your everyday experience is influenced by the projection you put on to the people and things around you? 10 percent? 50 percent? 100 percent? And how often do you notice when you’re projecting in this way? How often are you aware of this undercurrent of thought or emotion, this mental commentary, that dictates your experience of now?

So, as you go through the day today, notice how you compare what you see, hear, feel, taste and smell to things you’ve sensed previously. Notice when you base your decisions of like and dislike, love and hate, on intangible ideas from another time. They might be memories from the past, or ideas of how things could potentially be in the future. Either way, they are thoughts and feelings from another time and place. 

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And yet these thoughts and projections impact the present and our everyday experience in such a massive way. So, are some things inherently better than others, or do we change what we see with our mind? If it all sounds too much like hard work, then why not try with just the one sense? Maybe try one new sense each day this week.

And to illustrate this idea in light of your daily meditation, check out the animation below.  This will give you some insight into what to expect from meditation without getting caught up in the projections of what it 'should' or 'could' be, helping you create a solid basis for your practice.


Want to try meditation made simple on our app for iPhone and Android and our website? Sign up to Get Some Headspace right now to start on your free 10 days of meditation and take advantage of a fantastic reader offer for the Psychology Today community. This post was originally posted on the Headspace Blog 

Andy Puddicombe is a Clinical Meditation Consultant and the co-founder of Headspace, which aims to make meditation simple and accessible through its website and app.


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