Tag Archives: thinking

The boy alone and my thoughts

The more I meditate, the more I am aware of my thoughts. I find it very interesting to notice them, they come so quickly.

For instance: one day I saw lots of schoolchildren walking around in the streets (in Ireland you can recognise them easily because of the school uniforms they are wearing). Groups of two, of three, of four, of more. And then I saw one boy walking on his own.

My thoughts were: “That’s so sad, all by himself. Is he ok? Does he have friends? How is he feeling about being alone?”

Then I noticed these thoughts. And realised that I was projecting something on this situation, like we humans easily do, most of the time even without noticing it.

Maybe the boy was fine alone. Maybe he had a big group of friends waiting back at school. Maybe he was bullied. Maybe he was a bully. Maybe he preferred to be on his own. Who knows. It could be any of these thoughts, or none.

What I think I know for sure is that I saw a human being walking on the pavement. The rest were merely thoughts, projections and ideas.

And I find it fascinating to be aware of the fact that most of my world is actually just my thoughts, projections and concepts.

That’s one of the reasons that I like to mediate, to help myself to be more aware of them.

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).