How level 1 works
In every moment of the day, you’re most likely participating in and identifying with your thoughts. Mindfulness begins in the moment when you no longer participate, but step back and observe your thoughts, like sitting on a riverbank, and watching a stream flow.
But the current in this river is very strong, and so it proves difficult for first time meditators to reach anywhere near the riverbank.
Without experience, the state of observation and the state of participation are difficult to distinguish. They’re both described in words, and feel native to one’s mind. And so early meditators spend too much time lost, not knowing whether they’re on the riverbank, or in the water.
So, in place of focusing on thoughts for the first time meditators, we focus on sounds—music, special music, composed for this practice, to serve as a placeholder, a scaffolding to stack your attention on, which makes it very clear for novice meditators whether or not their attention is where they want it to be.
In Level 1, beginner meditators immediately experience success and satisfaction with practice. This unfolds following three steps:
We replace the focus on thoughts with the focus on our music.
Because the music feels distinct from thoughts, beginners can easily understand if their attention is on the music or not, making early success very clear.
At this level, the music is designed to stimulate renewed interest, and so helps users to return attention to it.