Many of us are concerned that we cannot exert control over our thoughts. In addition, we can be severely distressed at the consequences of this lack of control… it can seem like being in a speeding car without a steering capability.
There is a time-honored solution for this very common scenario: Step out of the car.
You have to realize that there are two entities involved in the thought process. There is the thought, and there is that which observes the thought. The "that" is the "basic you", your fundamental identity.
To save your self much grief and stress, and to experience deep, lasting inner peace, it is important that you understand this two-entity concept and always position yourself as the observer of your thoughts. This is equivalent to stepping out of the car mentioned earlier.
Once you have stepped out of the car, no matter where the car goes and no matter what happens to the car, nothing happens to "you", since you are effectively observing the car from the sidelines.
The reason I am saying that is because a long time ago, I was "in the car". After much study, contemplation and practice I got out of it and am now its calm observer.
It is never too late to start. One of the simplest ways to realize that you are in actuality the observer of your thoughts is as follows:
- Sit comfortably in a place without any distractions
- Wonder, soon after a thought strikes you, who was aware of the thought
- Once you put your finger on that "who", try and stay there. (For this you will have to ignore your thought process to the extent that you are not pulled away from the “who" position. Most people are initially reluctant to do this for fear of the consequences, so I recommend trying it for gradually increasing periods of time.)
- Every day put in a bit of this practice. The aim is to always be an observer of your thoughts. Most importantly, be an observer of ‘first person’ thoughts, such as, "Now’s the time for practice," or "I wonder if this is going to work," or "Why am I so distracted?" or " This is really cool."
- As I said in this earlier post, if a thought suggests action, like, “I want to eat some pizza”, decide whether you want to obey it or not. If you decide not to obey, the thought will usually persist for a while. Just keep watching it until it dies down.
Once you are a constant observer of your thoughts, nothing can disturb you, since any disturbance is also part of the "car." Do it now and enjoy!!
To your peaceful life,