On Dispassion

Watch your thoughts as you watch the street traffic. People come and go: you register without response.

— Nisargadatta

If your day involves walking on city streets or taking the subway, you already know how to detach. In meditation we cultivate a similar detachment or dispassion from our own thoughts.

When you sit to meditate, treat your thoughts the way you treat strangers on the subway – with dispassion and detachment.

When thoughts surface, maintain a stance of indifference, disinterest, towards them. Keep your awareness on the breath or the mantra (or whatever you are using to focus your attention). Thoughts will arise and subside but “they won’t take you out” as Sally Kempton once said.