What! Were You Thinking?
For the past few days, I found myself entangled in my own thoughts, on and off. That’s the thing about the mind, it requires constant attention and cleaning up. We may be completely at peace one moment, and —bam!— next moment a simple statement from someone can throw us off the track.
But how affected we get by our mind game depends on our degree of attachment to the matter at hand. From my experience, the stronger our attachment, the harder it is to drop those thoughts and beliefs. In essence though, the reality of the mind remains the same. No thought matters. They are just thoughts.Back in 2013, I read a line which blew my mind away. Almost literally.
It said: “We can only think one thought at a time”.
Let me say it again:
We can only think one thought at a time.
It sounds very strange doesn’t it? I hear you say: “No way. My mind is flooded with thoughts, there’s no way that’s true!” Well, am sorry to break it to you, but it’s true: We can consciously think of only one thought at a time! Now don’t get me wrong, I didn’t say we ‘get’ one thought at a time. We do not. Our minds are verily flooded with thoughts all the time.
But we can consciously think of only one thought at a time. And thinking of any thought consciously, breaks the previous flow of the mind. If we consciously and mindfully think of one thing, that’s all we can think about. That’s until other thoughts appear, of course. But for that one moment, we only have one thought!
Let’s say I ask you to consciously think of chocolate cake right now. Try it! Am not looking… For that one second, you have consciously thought of only chocolate cake. Right?
Yes, soon after, other thoughts do invade the mind but we cannot consciously think of two things at once! Try it again. Think of paneer and chocolate cake at once and be mindful to see if the thoughts appear simultaneously or consecutively. You’ll notice the thoughts appear consecutively.
Holy cow! We cannot think of more than one thing at once! Cool, isn’t it? At least I found this fact pretty amazing. I guess, right now, you’re either sharing my excitement or you’re face-palming …:)
Excitement aside, I found this piece of information useful when it comes to calming down the mind. It allows us to drop thoughts as they come, especially if we want to jump out of these mindy roller-coaster rides (without getting hurt).
I use the following technique which allows me to get back to an empty mind at any point in time. This trick gradually brings about immense peace of mind.
Whenever I want to break my flow of thoughts or come out of some disturbing mindy party, I consciously breathe out and watch my breath for a moment.
That’s it! In fact, it’s formally called the centering process and never fails. But I call it a Swami moment! Breathing out is a Swami moment for me, it’s blissful! Focussing on breathing out means that we are consciously thinking of this one thing at this moment. It resets the mind for a moment.
However, because the mind is unruly, as soon as we finish breathing out, other thoughts have already arrived. Hence, repeating this process throughout the day truly tames the mind. It comes especially handy when we are embroiled in our own minds, filled with drama.
With the help of my dragon/friend, this was the first technique wards self-transformation that I picked up. Meditation helps, wisdom and teachings are precious, but pausing the mind is what enables us to practice the teachings.
Centering ourselves enables us to align with the Self. And in that one moment of silence, we are truly connected. With this technique, dropping a thought becomes much easier over time. Whenever a thought arises, just centre yourself. The thought disappears. Repeat. And personally, most thoughts ceased to bother me. After I practised this precious trick for a few days, I felt like a dragon who could take on the world;)
But don’t worry, I didn’t burn anyone down. Om Swami’s teachings cover everything and being committed to applying His wisdom brings about profound happiness.
Baleni, a close friend of mine, tried this technique. Going from a state of mindy roller-coasters to a calm state, I kindly asked her to share her experience. I swear, I didn’t force her:) She says:
“Fam! Not gonna lie! Centering defo put me in a better place, permanently! For sure! Now, am letting life flow and all!”
Life becomes fun if we change the question altogether, instead of “What were you thinking?” change it to “What! Were you thinking?”
So, let’s have a life full of Swami moments. I mean centre yourself, drop thoughts, have fun and let life flow! Do give it a try today and let me know how it goes … Not the thoughts, the experience;)