– Are you aware of the thoughts that pass through your mind?
– Do you remember what you thought a few minutes ago?
– Do you know how many thoughts pass through your mind in 24 hours?
– Do all your thoughts originate in your mind? Are they your own thoughts or other people’s thoughts that you think are your own thoughts?
Thinking is very useful in every area of life, but people go too far with it. It has turned into some sort of slavery. Instead of thinking about what you want, when you want, you think all the time, every hour of the day. Every word you hear, everything you see brings thoughts to your mind. The mind is always busy, most of the time thinking meaningless thoughts as a reaction to external stimulus.
People have lost the ability to stop thinking when they don’t need to. Thoughts come and go whenever they want, distracting the attention, spoiling concentration, and keeping the mind in a state of endless mental activity. It is like a machine that is never switched off.
Many of these thoughts are negative, causing anxiety and worries, wasting one’s time and energy.
Instead of using thoughts to help in your affairs, you are being used by thoughts. They take your time and they take your energy, without giving you anything in return. They constantly produce noise in your mind, preventing you from experiencing real inner peace.
Are you able to stop thinking negative thoughts? Are you able to stop all those thoughts that keep moving your attention from one thing to another? Do you keep worrying, and do you expect the worst? Does your mind keep busy with what someone said about you, and do you keep thinking how life is bad for you, because someone at work got promoted, and you were not?
Do you keep thinking about other matters while studying, talking with someone, driving your car or traveling by bus or train?
You deserve to give your mind some rest, at least for some moments during the day. You can learn to resist the temptation to be always thinking. When thoughts stop for a little while you don’t lose consciousness! You become more conscious and more aware. You become more alive. The mind is afraid to stop thinking, afraid of what will happen if it becomes quiet. There are great peace and happiness inside, but constant thinking hides them, as the clouds hide the sun.
When the quantity of thoughts decreases, there is no vacuum, instead of the mind’s activity, there will be inner peace and inner happiness, which can be experienced even in the midst of activity, at work, at home and everywhere else.
Here is a basic exercise that will help you learn about the process of thinking:
Stop what you are doing, and for ten minutes watch your thoughts. You don’t have to be alone in practice this exercise. You can practice it at your work, in a park, at home, or wherever you happen to be, but not while driving.
For this exercise, you don’t need to relax your body, sit in a certain pose or breath in a special way.
All you have to do is try to be aware of your thoughts, and find out where they came and how. Don’t analyze them, just watch the process, how they arise in your mind, and how they change or are being replaced by other thoughts. You will be surprised to discover that many of them arise as a reaction to events, environment or other people’s words or thoughts. Some of these thoughts that arise automatically in certain circumstances, triggered by certain people, events or other external stimuli.
After going through this exercise, ask yourself:
How did I feel during the exercise?
Did I intentionally choose the thoughts that entered your mind?
Did I experience some inner peace while doing this exercise?
This exercise, will give some overview of how your mind works.