Even though we’re unable to stop the thinking process we can raise our awareness to WHAT we’re thinking
When I look around and see happy people who have experienced adversity I think to myself, how do they do that? And the answer that has returned in the past has been that they must be capable of not thinking. This is of course impossible, so the sensible answer is, these people must be in control of what they’re thinking. And so the next question that comes to mind is, how are they in control of their thoughts?
It’s true to say, we are what we think we are, and, therefore, we are our thoughts
Only this morning I heard the comment: ‘Wow! It’s nearly June already!’ and my response was to say: ‘Yes and hasn’t it been a long winter,’ both a bit negative when you think of it. And so, in order to countermand these words, my next comment was . . . ‘And I’m looking forward to a lovely long summer.’
When we consider that words are always preceded by thought – if sometimes by only a fraction of a second – we can know, that through gaining an increased awareness of our thoughts, we can alter our lives in extraordinary ways. If our tendency is to be a little negative sometimes, we must raise our awareness to our predominant thoughts, or be damned by our own minds.
Mindfulness practice concerns raising our awareness to the nature of our thoughts
The constant internal chatter of our minds often continues just beneath our full awareness. When we sit during meditation, we become increasingly aware, of how intrusive our thoughts can be on our point of focus. In this manner we become acutely aware of what we’re thinking from moment to moment. And it is this that has the effect of raising our general awareness to the nature of our thoughts.
Simple really is powerful. The main problem is, we’re so often told to look for complicated solutions to, what can seem, complicated issues
Because mindfulness practice is simple it can be overlooked or undervalued. To some extent we can pin this undervaluation on the western beliefs that if something cost’s nothing, or very little, it can’t be any good. Buddhists and other meditators seem willing to give their knowledge away for free, however, if you look long enough, you’ll see that the information given is far from free. Time and attention given to any subject automatically awards it great value. And think about that: Time and Attention given to any subject gives it great value.
The one precious recourse we must give ourselves and our mindfulness practice is time
Yes, it takes a few minutes of focused attention every day to raise awareness to our thoughts, and yet when we truly understand the power our thinking holds over our lives, we will willingly give this time to ourselves. Take notice of the simplest solutions, they are the ones with all the power.