I’ve been thinking……too much for sure. You know how when you’re stuck in a thinking loop about something you don’t know how to handle or you don’t know what to do and it seems to go on and on with no solution in sight. The something could be about work, family, kids, health, vacation, a home project, friends, or a seemingly really big problem. The voices in your head seem to argue every side of the issue or problem. One says, “If you do this, then that will happen.” Or, “If you try that, then maybe you will be happy.”
There are life long thinking loops and daily thinking loops. The loop may come up once a day or once a month. I wonder what causes them to start. Some of them obviously start from something that happens like you get really mad at work so maybe you should pursue that life long dream of becoming a musician. Another loop might start because a friend tells you they just got back from the Bahamas and you haven’t been able to figure out how to get away for a trip. While there are external triggers for many thinking loops, other ones seem to come out of nowhere. The ones which seem to bring up past regrets or past transgressions. All of a sudden, out of the blue, a voice comes into your head telling you how much you screwed up or if you had just done that other thing, that would have made it all better. Thinking is really over-rated and I’m recommending giving it up all together.
Now you are wondering, well, how in the world am I going to get through my day without thinking? Thinking is what we do to be successful. We all “Think it over” or we say “Let me think about it”. Thinking is one of the most popular, accepted, recommended methods for living our lives, for solving all our problems, and if you don’t think before you act, then all hell will break loose and really bad things will happen.
As I’ve been experimenting with thinking lately, I want to report that thinking is not at all helpful. As a matter of fact, it’s downright bad for a person. Thinking loops especially, keep us from seeing or hearing everything that really might be helpful. Thinking is no more than a conversation in your head between all the parts of your conditioned system who all have different perspectives and all want you to do different things. It’s the exact same thing as politicians lobbying for their own viewpoint. A thinking loop is no more than a really bad session of congress. In conclusion, thinking something over is not beneficial and can lead to frustration, anger, anxiety, suffering and continuous dissatisfaction and unhappiness. Watch your thinking and see where it leads.
Here’s the great secret. If you pay attention, you will hear insights or information that does not come from thinking. If you let the thinking go and listen, you will hear helpful advice or new ways of seeing things that will lead you to freedom. Insight often comes in the middle of the night, or first thing in the morning or other times when thinking is not going on. Frequently, I will receive an insight when I’m meditating or when I’m taking a walk in the forest or on the beach. Insight comes from our hearts, from God, from Authentic Nature, from All That Is, from That Which Animates Us, or any name you have for It. It does not come from conditioned mind which is the ruler of thinking.
Next time you find yourself thinking or reviewing or noodling, drop it, let it go, find your breath and re-direct your attention. Keep doing this and then keep listening for insight. Insight equals those tidbits of enlightening information which will lead you to living a fulfilling, suffering-free life. My experience tells me this is so. This will feel different. You will not need to do all the forms of thinking like worrying, controlling, planning, fretting, mulling, pushing, obsessing, and worst of all, thinking. Thinking is a strongly conditioned habit. Therefore, it is necessary to practice dropping it. Just keep dropping thinking over and over and eventually you will hear the heart’s voice. Once you hear it, you will want to keep practicing to hear it again.
Blessings on your journey.