Updated: Apr 4
And Most of It Is
“Did you ever stop to think, and forget to start again?” - Winnie the Pooh
If you haven't noticed, our thinking tends to be a bit repetitive. It just seems to spin in circles. This is even more true when we are stressed or in a state of fear.
Except for the kind of thinking which results from focused, engaged attention, the rest, I am brazen enough to say, is pretty much worthless. That focused attention is key to breaking the thinking habit, but before I get into that, let's take a quick look at where this thinking comes from.
Contrary to popular belief, you didn't create. If you created your thoughts, you would be able to determine what your next thought is going to be. But you can't. Neither can I. We don't know what they're going to be until they show up.
When they do show up, we can (and will) say things like "That's a great idea." or "WTF?" or "Where did that come from?" So we aren't creating them. They are being generated, in real time, by the nervous system. And the patterns that they take are all conforming to and the manifestation of our deepest, unconscious energetic assumptions.
Now, the process of getting to those energetic assumptions is not easy. They lie deep in the unconscious and are not made of words. So thinking is of no use in the process of freeing ourselves from them. But what IS effective at bringing those assumptions to the surface and healing them is, ATTENTION, focused, loving attention.
When our attention turns away from thinking and towards feeling, we are doing two things:
Removing energy from repetitive and limited thinking and
We are learning to speak the language of feeling, which is the language of energetic patterns
I have devoted the better part of two decades exploring and teaching about this and the basic understanding underpins every class, workshop, retreat, radio show or satsang that I do. So, the purpose of this blog I will just suggest one thing to do to start this journey and test out whether my approach is valid.
Every time a thought pattern arises that is unpleasant, pull your attention into the body. Just deep breathing will do it. The habit of the attention will be to go back to the thinking. Every time it does just bring it back to the body. You will notice all the ways in which the thinking mind attempts to convince you that you absolutely must pay attention to the thinking.
Don't believe it. You don't have to. Start giving more and more attention to the feelings in your body. The more often you practice this the easier it gets and you discover for yourself that the vast majority of thinking is completely unnecessary. And, with that insight, the grip on your attention will loosen and you will find yourself more calm, more present and more happy.
And that is the best reward of all!
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