Thinking–The Mother of All Addiction

Have you ever tried to stop thinking? Ooooh boy, that’s a doozy.

Especially when you’re thinking about something uncomfortable, or even traumatic.

Should I choose that or choose this? I wonder what she meant when she gave me that look? He shouldn’t have slammed the door! I can’t stand seeing the accident over and over in my mind. I can’t believe she betrayed me like that. He must have a personality disorder of some kind. I wonder what will happen tomorrow? It would be god-awful to quit smoking now, at a time like this. I’ll quit later. 

The mind is busy running, commenting on EVERYTHING. Dang, it is busy.

Good news. Have you ever also noticed that some part of you NOTICES that you are thinking? That you have a mind that’s running and chattering itself practically to death?

So even though there’s this part that’s going high-speed in the fast lane quite a bit of the time, there’s another part that seems separate from all that. It notices the thinking.

Recently I was listening to Adyashanti, a spiritual teacher I greatly admire, and he said that when we meditate, we often notice this voice kick in and we get lost in it, but when we come up for air, suddenly becoming aware that we’ve been lost in thought, we can choose to feel gratitude.

Gratitude!? For wasting time being lost in my little measly ridiculous streams of thought for the last hour?!!

Yes, he said. We can feel grateful for coming back to reality, to expansiveness, to awareness and sanity!

In the past, I would criticize myself when I popped back up from a long drawn out thinking session.

What’s WRONG WITH YOU, you dork! Why can’t you stop thinking!

Not very kind.

It’s been a true Love/Hate relationship. I hate my thinking, I love my thinking, I hate my thinking, I love my thinking, I can’t stop my thinking, I won’t stop my thinking, I should stop my thinking, I need to stop my thinking, I like my thinking, I’m annoyed by my thinking….and on and on.

And then, silence. Noticing that thinking has been happening.

One of the most wonderful tools for a very busy thinking mind, is to offer it INQUIRY.

It seems like that mind just loves a good question. It gives it something to do! It loves giving answers!

If you have a repetitive thought…pause and ask: Is it true, what I am thinking? Is it really, absolutely 100% true? Can I know this is true?

How do I react when I’m thinking?

I lose sight of some of the world around me. I get lost “in thought.” I’m not very happy. I don’t see or hear very well. Sometimes I get furious, or depressed. I get very discouraged. Sometimes I get a rush of adrenaline, I’m anticipating, I’m excited.

If it’s heavy-duty fearful thinking, I can’t sleep well. I’m paranoid, or grief-stricken. Or I want to sleep too much. Or I want to escape and I may have an escapish-behavior. I used to eat!

Who would I be without thinking? If I really couldn’t think anymore, what would that be like?

That’s a wonderful thing to imagine. Sometimes, there’s something a little disconcerting about it. If I didn’t think, I would be a zombie, or a vegetable, or a nincompoop! I’d be rude! I’d be MORE lost than I am when I do think! I’d make terrible decisions! Oh no!

But what if it wasn’t scary? What if we were more efficient, more amazing, more energetic, more clear….without all the thinking?

“To enjoy the world without judgment is what a realized life is like.”~Joko Beck

Considering what lots of thinking has done for me so far, I’m willing to question the truth of it.

In fact, in questioning my thinking, I notice my life has become more calm, more free, more relaxed, more rich, more beautiful than ever before. Every day is quite wonderful.

My thinking is still alive and well, but oh how thrilling to not believe it…every moment I get freedom from beliefs is so much fun!

Maybe I’ve been addicted to thinking, but now, I’m learning what to do with the thoughts. Bring them to inquiry. Ask if they’re true.

And OH BOY…A One Year Program for The Addictive Mind is READY!!

If you’ve been one of the many people who have asked about this one-year program for a small group to work together in support of questioning all the biggest “thoughts” we’ve ever learned that feel stressful…

Go here to read all about it I can’t wait to start in June on a fabulous journey.

“Imagine your house of thoughts standing in the middle of an ocean of light from a trillion stars. Imagine your awareness trapped inside the darkness of that house, struggling daily to live off the artificial light of your limited experiences. Now imagine the walls crumbling down…”~ Michael Singer

Love, Grace

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2 Responses to Thinking–The Mother of All Addiction

  1. Thank you for this wonderful, helpful essay on obsessive thinking and holding those thoughts up to the light of truth; and, celebrating the part of us that can observe the thoughts!

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