Last Sunday's talk on Moods & Attitudes used a meditation session to look for and explore these "background" aspects of the mind. Here is an exercise that's easy to try during daily life.
During a conversation with someone (probably not a crucial one at work) pay close attention as the other person speaks. Focus on their words and meaning. You will probably notice other thoughts zipping through your mind. Look to see if these thoughts reflect an attitude or mood of yours. Observe any such background mental processes neutrally, scientifically -- not personally. Just accept that it's there and take note of how it affects your listening, comprehension and retention of what's being said. Try not to judge or to suppress this process. Just be mindful of it. Change will come later, naturally. For now, all we need to do is be aware.
You're invited to share your observations on our blog or write me in reply to this email.