There comes a point in everyone’s life when we realise that we think too much; or that we have thoughts that we rather don’t want to have. First of all, celebrate that you are aware of that! Many people are not. Maybe you are even very aware of your thoughts? Well, then you already know by your own experience that your attempts to stop your thoughts are not working, do they? Like lying in bed at night, trying to fall asleep and the noise of thoughts in your head between your ears is just too loud? And your efforts to stop that noise is just adding more noise to the noise? If the thoughts would at least have some meaning, but most of the time they have not – they are just annoying, because you have dealt with the matters during the day or decided to deal with stuff tomorrow; so in principle there is no need to have thoughts right now.
And yet, your thoughts are having their party in your own house and they don’t listen to you! A glass of wine to numb you? Maybe a movie to have an effective distraction? Tablets? Sex is a good escape too. In other words, while your thoughts are having a ball, you try to somehow find a way to distract yourself.
It is remarkable how difficult it is for us human beings to just sit still and watch our thoughts without engaging in them or resisting them. Try it, sit still for 5 minutes without any sensory distraction which includes moving your body. How is it to spend 5 minutes with yourself internally? Boring? Irritating? You don’t want to become conscious of your negative thoughts about yourself, your spouse, your work, the world? If you had beautiful thoughts you would enjoy spending some time with them, wouldn’t you? The truth is that most thoughts are meaningless, repetitions of the past, negative fictions, fearful projections, endless rumination of well-known desires, and so on and so forth.
But the most annoying part is the realisation that you have no power to stop your thoughts. You may have tried several methods that promise to be effective in thought-stopping. But I can tell you, as long as you are trying to do anything about the spaghetti in your head you will fail. Your thoughts just laugh at you and go on partying.
The first thing to learn is to not do anything about your thoughts. Why? Because the doer – you – is the generator that gives the thoughts their energy to go on 24/7. Dreaming is thinking too. Not doing anything about your thoughts is like pulling the plug of their life line. Your thoughts are energy forms and need energy to live. If you don’t attend to them anymore, you don’t give them your precious life energy anymore. What you attend to receives your energy.
So, when you pull the plug and decide to not pay attention any longer to the noise in your head, what happens? You will be aware of yourself as the one who is not paying attention to the thoughts in your head. Now you reached an important goal post in your JOURNEY towards liberation; you are face-to-face with yourself as the energy who is aware, who is watching. Now what?
Can you relax into that state of awareness? Just being (with) your awareness? If you can while sitting still, then the next step is to take this awareness of you being the energy that is aware into activities. Practice this with simply actions first, like making your bed, brushing your teeth, dancing, eating, etc. – simple stuff for which you don’t need much thinking. Once that is easy for you, take on more complex actions, like driving your car, maybe even work already. Remain conscious, remain being the energy that is aware throughout all these activities. Then go for the heavy duty, have conversations with people and remain in your state of awareness. If you manage that well, you have accomplished an incredible task: you have awakened yourself. You are conscious!
Life is an entirely different experience when you are awake. Colors are more vivid, reality is more three-dimensional, you feel space, so much space. And you feel truly free. You are free within. Nobody can take that freedom away from you. It’s the only freedom that is real. And in that freedom you become joyful for no other reason than being free. This joy doesn’t require money or a big villa or people loving you. This joy is unconditional. And it is yours, forever.