22 Sep. Two types of thoughts.

I didn’t get to sit yesterday morning. Still sick. Just 4 hours of shallow sleep. But I got to sit last night. I managed to meditate for 20 minutes. Sitting in the dark with my eyes closed I experienced no drowsiness at all. Am I getting good at being still?

I tried to be mindful of my body and breath. I tried to silence the inner chatter. But I couldn’t. And then an idea struck me… I have two types of thoughts:

  • Involuntary random thoughts, a noise, a product of the mind exhausted by the sickness, stress, lack of sleep and food. I realized that I wouldn’t be able to stop it. Just like I wouldn’t be able to stop my heart. This is what the tired mind does. It’s biology. But I can observe the noise, accept it, dissociate, perceive it as not me, not mine, not myself. The same way I observe the breath. And this is exactly what I did.
  • Thoughts generated by greed, hatred, and delusion. Very distinct. Thoughts I voluntarily follow. Fueled by ego. These have to be acknowledged, accepted and stopped.

So I sat there being mindful of my body, breath and the noise in my head. But whenever a thought stood out and tried to hijack my attention I acknowledged it and let it fade away. Whenever an emotion arose I would bring my attention to my whole body and the emotion would dissolve.

This morning I woke up early and sat for half an hour. It went very well.

6 thoughts on “22 Sep. Two types of thoughts.

  1. Wonderful 🙂 Thoughts are part and parcel of being human – we cannot stop them from arising – but we can choose not to follow them on their journeys. Suzuki Roshi suggests that thoughts can be allowed to arise and depart but just don’t invite them to sit down for tea. Thanks for the great post. Gassho, David

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Interesting! Recently I’m obsessed with the topic of consciousness. I binge-watch everything I can find on YouTube about the subject (Peter Russell, Donald Hoffman, Rudolph Tanzi etc.). I’ve just added Thomas Metzinger to my playlist. Thank you for the heads up! I totally agree about acknowledging the feelings… But when you have been stuck in the default mode (acting upon them immediately without reflection) for so long it is so hard to rewire the brain. But the good news is – all that it takes to achieve that is some persistence in practice. But… so hard, so hard! Thank you, David.


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