Sunday, October 17, 2010

What are you thinking?

I've been considering the question "What are you thinking?" as a mindfulness query. Usually I ask someone this out of curiosity or wanting to connect, so they'll share their internal world.

Maybe the question should be: How are you thinking? — to bring awareness to thinking. Notice that you're thinking. Notice the contents of the thoughts, without getting caught up in the story. Feel how thinking affects the body.

Mindfulness of thoughts is one of my favorite formal meditation practices lately. I get a kick out of it, which is good because there's a lot of thinking happening over here!

I enjoy watching the impulsiveness of thoughts, and how much they're chomping at the bit to spring me into action. Maybe I enjoy it because there's more freedom in watching thoughts rather than being so driven by them.

I love sitting practice, because of the relief of knowing that during this time I can't do anything else. All these thoughts, coming and going, don't matter. There's nothing else to do. Because all I'm actually doing is sitting here with awareness.

It's so great to just let the thoughts think and not have to do anything about them. So, how are you thinking?

5 comments:

  1. Thinking, feeling, doing, being. I wish I could draw a 3-dimensional chart here that shows how all of these are connected, with mindfulness at the center. Or maybe it's relief at the center! I love what you said about the freedom in simply observing our thoughts rather than being driven by them. May it be so.

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  2. I love the 3-D image... I think maybe each of us is that which expresses these aspects, with a still point at the center. That still small voice; that silence and ease. Thank you for your comment and the blessing it contains! With love, Rachel

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  3. Thanks for this post!

    I'm also appreciating how the same approach can extend even to feelings: that being present to feelings does not necessarily mean letting them drive me around.

    Instead, I like the practice of noticing the feelings and noticing the thoughts that helped shape them as well as the thoughts I'm having in reaction to the feelings.

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  4. I like what you wrote about not letting the feelings "drive me around." Thanks, Renata, for adding this insight about noticing thoughts and feelings!

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  5. Just heard this today: "We are in a virtual reality of thinking most of the time." (Tara Brach)

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