Wednesday, May 11, 2016

More Thoughts About Thoughts

When we can actually choose the direction of our thoughts instead of just letting them run along the grooves of conditioned thinking, we become the masters of our own lives”.
-Eknath Easwaran
Much to many people’s chagrin, you really can’t control your thoughts.  Sometimes I have thoughts I would never think intentionally.  The best thing, and really the only thing, we can do with our thoughts is learn how to ignore them and let them go.  One of the images often used in meditation sessions is the idea of a person sitting on a riverbank.  As you serenely sit there you gaze upon all the boats going up and down the river.  You cannot control the boats.  You can only watch them go by.  Our thoughts are much the same.  We cannot control them but we can just let them go and watch them go by.  I am speaking more of troubling or unwanted thoughts.  Some thoughts are good and need further rumination.  One thought may contain a great idea that needs to be developed.  Another thought, however, may be unwanted, unkind, or troublesome.  Hanging on to such thoughts rarely has a good outcome.  Wayne Dyer, who has written books on the Chinese philosophy called the Tao, sums it up by saying, “Change your thinking and change your life.”
Here is some further advice from Buddha’s The Noble Eightfold Path.
All experience is preceded by mind, led by mind, made by mind.
Speak or act with a corrupted mind and suffering follows as the wagon wheel follows the hoof of the ox.
All experience is preceded by mind, led by mind, made by mind.
Speak or act with a peaceful mind and happiness follows like a never departing shadow.   

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