We really need to choose life on a moment to moment basis. Keep asking yourself over and over again: are you wrapped up in thoughts or are you connecting with the reality of what is going on around you? It is that simple. Relationships and thought are a good example. When we ﬁrst meet our partners, life is a laugh, full of joy and fun. Over time we begin to better get to know our partners. We can often lose sight of their good points and start to dwell on their bad points.
We focus on the habits of the other person that annoy us: clothes are not put away, he/she spends too much money, is too tight with money, wastes electricity, is obsessed about wasting electricity, likes to party too much, won’t go out at all, watches TV too much, buys too much junk food, won’t let himself go, has no interest in others, have little in common. We start to analyse and dwell on the differences and we run them over and over in our mind. We forget about our partner’s good points as the bad points take over. Then, we meet our partners and see him or her through this collection of thought. We begin to argue and tension arises. Emotions run high and we get upset with each other.
This is a reﬂection of the mind. Little habits that before were endearing are now the cause of marital and relationship issues. If your relationship has issues, then the next time you see that person, see him or her as if for the very ﬁrst time. If you were not looking through the past, things would be different. People running on a train of thought think negatively about their relationships all the time. Then, when they see the person, they look through what they have been thinking about. How could you have a good relationship by looking through so much junk?
If you are not happy, you are spending too much time thinking. If you don’t get on with members of the opposite sex, you are spending too much time thinking. If you hate your job, you are spending too much time thinking. If you feel unattractive, you are spending too much time thinking. If you think you are God’s gift to women, you are spending too much time thinking. You are creating problems from your thoughts. If you just let your thoughts subside, you would have far fewer problems.
The answer is to not analyse the other person. Don’t look through your collection of thoughts. Don’t have a preconceived idea of him or her. See and really see. Hear and really listen. Feel and really feel. You will sense freedom when you get in touch with life, as life is the prime substance behind everything. The real world is life itself, not a collection of thoughts. Some people never put down their thoughts, even for just a short while. These people completely miss out on life.
If you don’t like your job, do it without thought. Don’t let your mind into analyse it and turn your workplace into a living hell. I spent a couple of years hating a job. I thought about it incessantly. All this does is get you down and keeps you trapped in the job. The more you think about how much you don’t like your job, the less room you have for a solution to enter.
Very few thoughts will bother you if you are there step by step. Don’t run on a collection of thoughts that you think it is. Following time step by step involves no thought. As time passes, go with time. Don’t think of the future or worry about the past. The past is exactly where it is – in the past. There is little you can do to change it. Thoughts are imagined as if they are real, but they are not real at all. Thoughts are stale. They are based on past conditioning and programs. But life is ﬂuid and ever changing. You cannot get answers for something that is ﬂuid by delving into old thoughts.
Feel your inner body. Reduce your breathing!
I cannot stop thinking
You might say that this all makes sense but it is impossible to stop thinking when things go wrong. Yes, I agree that doing it is more difﬁcult. But at the same time, it is a lot easier than allowing the mind to run off on a worrying stream of thought. Of any 24 hour day, negative events generally account for a very small amount of time. It is our thinkaholic nature which prolongs the situation in our mind.
It is easier to build up your awareness by stilling the mind when things are GOING RIGHT FOR YOU. When life is running smoothly, make it a continued practise to observe your thoughts and bring COMPLETE attention to the present moment, or feel your inner body or follow your breath. The more you do this, the easier it is when things are not running so smoothly.
Deeply rooted traumas might surface. As the old memories arise, just acknowledge them and let them pass, even stuff that has caused a lot of pain, such as emotional, physical or sexual abuse.
Just view these past traumas as thoughts. Observe them without attachment and let them pass. A mood change, emotional charge and short-term depression can be part of the process. If you feel down, accept it as part of the healing process. Feeling down is okay, as it is for the short term and will soon pass. Bringing acceptance to this helps speed the process. Deal with the past by living in the present. Doing this enables the old thought patterns that have shaped your life to dissolve.
The good news is that you don’t have to analyse the past to address the past. You don’t even need to understand it. Just live in the now and allow the past to surface and dilute.
We all need help from life
No matter how intelligent we are, we depend on life to help us along the way. We cannot do it alone, nor should we. All species with the exception of most humans allow life to assist them, care for them and provide for them. Birds, tigers, elephants, snakes, cats, dogs, seals, dolphins and whales are not worried about tomorrow, nor are they dwelling in the past. They have little fear except for brief moments when confronted by an animal of prey. Why are humans the exception? Why would life let humans down and look after every other living being?
You are not one with life if all of your attention is in your head. You are missing out on life and all that it is has to offer. Look at the state of the people around you. You will see how caught up they are in their heads thinking about the past or future and seldom having their attention in the now. Life is not a collection of thoughts. Life has an immense intelligence that we seldom consider. Allow life to help you through life. Don’t be constantly worried and afraid of whatever situation or event may unfold. Have trust in life and life will look after you.
Your job is to let life live through you. You enable this when you merge with your inner body or follow your breath. Your job is to live life, not to live in a collection of thoughts in your head. Living in your thoughts is living a life divorced from life.
Let go of the wheel of life
In a sense, when we ﬁrst let go of thought, we feel as if we are abandoning control. Society, education and other factors have conditioned us into believing that we always need to be thinking. The belief is that if we stop thinking, everything that we have ever accumulated or strived for will come tumbling down around us. The belief is that our relationships will fall apart, our kids will go wild, our ﬁnances will dwindle.
Deep down, we believe that we must be thinking all the time. If this wasn’t the case, why would we continue to do it? Here, I am asking you to take a chance on life and see how life looks after you. Forget about thought and join with life. Let go of constant control and see what life brings you. It is the understanding that you literally have to do nothing and let life do it for you. You are in this world to discover life. Have fun with it. Test it out. See if life is real. See if it is true. But you have to be willing to test it. Make the decision to change. You might have to start with very small areas.
If you are bored in your job, can you view it differently? Can you approach it without feeling that it is boring? Can you look at your wife or husband without seeing the negativity that you have run through your mind over the past few months? Gently take back control of your mind. Watch your breath, feel your inner body, reduce your breathing. Do this for pockets of a few minutes many times throughout the day. Especially do it while you are watching TV, driving your car, waiting in line at the post ofﬁce, walking down the street, exercising, in bed at night. The more often you incorporate it into your life, the more you will continue with it.
It is you that stops yourself. See what life really provides you, as this will be far better than what is developed through a collection of thought. If you made a decision to choose life, then you would not choose thought. How will you know if it is working? Quite simply, you will know by how you feel. You will feel alive and feel no tension. Your life will be softer and will unfold a lot easier.