We don’t control our thoughts, but if we are not careful, they will control us. Every stimulus we encounter produces thoughts. Trying to diagnose “where” they come from is about as useless as trying to predict the weather. Thoughts are ripples of mind caused when a sensation drops into our subconscious. One thought leads to another, a second stone plopping into the water, and so forth. Sometimes these ripples turn into waves of beauty and insight. Sometimes they create a confused sea that is difficult to navigate.
We can’t control the interplay of factors that cause thoughts to arise, but we can watch them as they do. We can know that thoughts do not define who we are nor do they require that we take action on their behalf, no matter how insistent they may seem. Like raindrops on a windshield whatever thoughts we now have will soon be washed away by new ones created by the next round of stimuli.
Our joy is not found in our thoughts. It is in the tiny spaces in-between them, where the mind is still and all our opinions and judgments are silenced. In this place, our senses are open enough to feel that there is no space between us and anything else. Within the stillness here, we can experience what it means to belong.
Based on a journal entry from 5.18.17