Buddhist mindfulness meditation techniques train the brain to dis-embed or dissociate the arising word and image thoughts from the conscious observing part of the brain.
You learn to experience whatever your brain produces without adding any more of the thought stream to it. You cultivate bare attention to the live feed of the five senses and the live feed of the inner dialogue and imaging.
Extremely, extremely useful and a necessary skill. My practices presuppose skill with setting up and experiencing mindfulness and bare attention.
Similarly, Buddhist concentration practices, whether narrowly or broadly focused, create positive mental states by temporarily suppressing negative thoughts and feelings from arising.
Buddhist vipassana or insight practices encourage you to confirm the wisdom in your own subjective experience of the Buddha’s views on impermanence (anicca), not-self (anatta), and suffering (dukkha) and how to reduce suffering.
Important point: You aren’t encouraged to do practices, investigate, and discuss and draw your own maps. You are persistently invited to agree with the Buddha’s views. While I found them to be true…they are only partially so.
They are some of the characteristics of existence but not the whole..so for me it was constraining and limiting. Thus arose this exercise in map making of the inner territory being experienced and explored. Something was missing. Over time I added all these other pieces for actually transforming the arising patterns and helping to use them to solve daily life challenges.
This creates the space to then return to mindfully observing whatever is arising and passing away. In many ways, these patterns are similar in intent (but not the same) as Buddhist kindness meditations.
Another distinction. I do not sharply compartmentalize the use of mindfulness and concentration meditation and self directed, language based change patterns. A ‘sit’ or in my case a ‘lie-down’ will encompass both. When a negative experience is arising, I may chose just to observe, experience and add nothing…or employ one of the language change patterns presented here.
Sitting for a long time with ‘dark night’ experiences is not necessary or skillful in this practitioner’s experience.
Also, choice of conjunctions matters. For me it is both/and, not either/or, to get the greatest reduction in unnecessary suffering and greatest increase in useful joyful happiness.