An exploration of thoughts

We all have them and they won't go away, however we can learn to work with them and find a greater space of freedom. Here are some of my explorations:

1. We learn that we have thoughts.

2. We learn that no-one else can hear them, that they are just what goes on in our head.

3. We recognize familiar patterns - anxiety, wanting, planning, reviewing, disliking, judging, aversion, impatience, plus some more.

4. We notice that as we think the muscles in our body tense up.

5. If we relax our bodies, our thoughts kind of ease up - the type of thinking is different.

6. If relax a lot, sink into our bodies, we recognize the difference between awareness and thinking. We can know sensations but we do not need to analyse them.

7. Now, we begin to notice that there is more to our minds than the compulsive thinking and doing. There are other ways of being in the world.

8. We learn more about relaxation and the different mental components that come with it - delight, rapture, contentment, peace, tranquillity. These words become felt sensations, not just concepts.

9. We recognize causal chains in our thinking - one thing leads to another. We explore these causal chains for relaxation.

10. Now we have a contrast to work with - relaxation and doing. We recognise what happens in our body when we are in these different states and we see that our view of the world is shaped by these states - relaxation makes things seem nice, agitation not so nice.

11. We recognise the arising of thoughts and mind states - they come and go.

12. From stillness, we notice the urge to think. We see the causal chain of something happening and our reaction to it.

13. We begin to learn that thoughts are always with us but they are not who we are.

14. We notice that we can cultivate positive mind states by working with the latent nature of the mind and body. By cultivating friendliness, relaxing the body, abandoning difficult mind states when they arise, we are able to create a container of contentment within ourselves.

15. By practising contentment, we begin to replace our automatic reacative mind states - slowly but surely.

16. We notice that every little thing affects the quality of thoughts that arise - speech, what we see/hear/read, our environment, what we eat, who we talk to. All these things resonate with latent pathways in the mind.

17. We see why the content of thoughts are the way they are.

18. We see all these things in ourselves and other people.

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