Tag Archives: mindful

Where does a thought go when you stop thinking about it?

Isn’t that a most interesting thought?

The idea that we are not our thoughts, but instead we have them is not new to me.

I think the first time that I became slightly aware of that was when I read the book ‘ You can heal your life’ from Louise Hay, about 8 years ago now. My mind was always busy and the idea that I could choose my own thought was revolutionary to me! It openen up a whole new way of thinking, of living. I had some ‘control’, something to say about where I would go with my mind.

Since that time I read a lot of books, watched a lot of teachings and video’s, participated i n courses and meditated and contemplated about it.

The mysterious life of thinking and thoughts still fascinates me.

Sometime in the last months, during one of the retreats with a Tibetan Buddhist teachers (*) here at Dzogchen Beara this sentence came up:

“Where does a thought go when you stop thinking about it?”

A sentence, a thought that comes back to me sometimes. Because after all this years, this image suddenly made it so clear for me: a thought is just a shapeless ‘thing’. And as long as we give it attention, energy, it stays around. The minute, even the second, we stop thinking the thought: it is gone.

So we are in control about which thoughts we keep around. And which ones we let go.

Of course, that is easier said than done. Like other human beings I can stick to a thought, a happy one, a sad one, it doesn’t matter. I choose (most of the time subconsciously) to keep the thought around. Repeat it in my head. Sometimes exactly the same. More often in various words and shapes.

But if I let the thought go…. it is really gone. It disappeared. It is no longer there. Like it was never there in the first place.

Isn’t that the most fascinating thought?

(*)
(I can’t remember which teacher by the way… I think it might be Jetsun Khandro Rinpoche).

Disconnect to connect more

Before I came here I was used to be online most of the time. For the last years I had a mostly online business: online coaching, online courses, organizing events that required a lot of mailing. At the end i longed to be offline more and more. I planned days and weeks without internet and mail. I loved it.

And when last May a few of my longings came together and i decided to go away for a while, it was obvious for me that i also would be less online for at least a few months. No new blogs on my other site, not visiting Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest (I already said goodbye to Facebook the year before). And to leave my smartphone and instead bring a old mobile phone.

And then i came to this place. With only a few spots with mobile phone connection. A -very old and slow- voluntary laptop that i could use at one specific place at certain hours. A sort of secret Wifi spot where i could connect with the outside world, but only after 5 pm and at a dry but quit uncomfortable place, where the only place place to sit is on the ground.

When it is so much hassle to get online, you get so much more efficient. And lots of things are not really worth the time and effort. Typing on a little tablet screen when sitting on a cold floor makes sure that you don’t type or browse to much.

Offline most of the time. I love it.

you are hereBesides, most of the time i have to work or spend my time walking, reading, having nice conversations, looking at the beautiful view or just sit with one of the cats. It is quit a relief to be in a place where not everybody is looking at their smartphone all the time.

Since a few weeks i made the decision to slowly get more online. My smartphone was send to me, so Whatsapp is back in my life. (Although i told that to almost no one until now).And i started to share pictures on Flickr and Instagram again. And i started this new site. Everything is a bit handier because i have sometimes access to a normal computer. 

I also felt the downsides of it all again. Checking Instagram and my mail quit a lot. It made me more anxious sometimes. Until i realized again that i don’t have to do check all this all the time.  And I can always make the decision, like last weekend, to not go online for a few days.

Because disconnecting actually connects me more: with myself and the people around me.