Today we ask you to notice your thoughts.
The typical human mind is continually flooded with thoughts. It thinks, and thinks, and thinks. It takes in information, and thinks about it. It imagines scenarios. It thinks about the future and the past. Most of the thoughts flash by so quickly that you are not fully aware that you are even thinking them.
If you could slow down the thinking process and really examine what goes through your mind, you might be surprised.
This is because much human thought is quite nonsensical, and really rather insane.
“I am a worthless person.”
“My husband doesn’t really love me.”
“That person who cut me off in traffic is a horrible human being.”
“That woman is wearing ugly earrings.”
“I am fat.”
“The world is doomed.”
“I wish I were rich, like that celebrity on TV.”
“My children will never amount to anything.”
“What if I die from some terrible disease?”
And on and on and on it goes. If you could just sit and and listen to it playing on a recording, it might sound to you like some crazy person ranting and raving about imaginary things.
Which is essentially true.
One of the practical benefits of any meditative practice is that it gently brings you into a greater state of awareness about your thoughts.
As you focus on your breathing — on simply staying conscious of your inhalations and exhalations — your thinking process slows down a little. Just enough for you to begin to pay attention to this loud racket that is going on in your brain.
You begin to have some distance from your thoughts.
And a tiny bit of distance is all you need.
You see, you are not your thoughts.
Really, your True Self exists in the stillness that lies between and beyond your thoughts. You exist in that very still, peaceful place that you experience when your mind is clear, calm, and alert. Sometimes this happens naturally when you are seeing, hearing, or experiencing something very beautiful and true — like a sunset, or a symphony. For those moments, everything stops; and you are in the still center of things.
The more you can become calm and present, the less power your thoughts will have over you.
They will still arise. They will still tell you that you are worthless, and that terrible things are happening.
But you will not believe them so easily. You will watch them and hear them, but not believe them.
So that is one reason why meditation is very useful. It can help you to stop believing all the crazy thoughts that rattle around your head.
And when you’re not in the grip of your thoughts, the experience of life becomes much more enjoyable.