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Recurring thoughts

(If 'Mindfulness' is the wrong category, please move it with my apologies)

It's been said that approximately 95% of our thoughts are re-runs; so, apparently, it's like network television. However, I had a 'thing' back in November that has played havoc with my experiencing of life. One radical havoc-inducing experience that is specific to this thread is that the number of new thoughts that I've never thought before has grown incredibly. While I'd love to try and give you a number, I'm not going to do that. Let's just go with....at least double the number of new thoughts.

It is, and has been, exhausting. Perhaps we recycle thoughts to save energy - I don't know, but judging from what I've been experiencing, that would make some kind of sense. Perhaps I simply have more energy and mind is using that to create more thoughts...like the one I'm having right now that says, "Oh that would be unfortunate." Anyway, for the first few months I tried to capture each new thought, which was packaged like an insight or revelation, thinking that if it got away, I would be poorer for it. Then I changed tack, deciding that my thinking had changed and such thoughts were always available to me now - I didn't need a collection.

It is...well now, I was going to say that 'it is what it is' but that's not right. It is whatever value I put on it/them. I'm trying diligently not to create a shrine or a statue to the experience, but even that requires intention, effort, and attention. That's the part I'm finding exhausting. If you've gone through something similar, or even if you haven't, any suggestion on how to responsibly 'take a break'?

Comments

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    The only advice I can offer is the use of a mantra.
    Buddho on the in breath and Buddho on the out breath.
    Or rising and falling.
    Focusing on this can at least give you a break for a while.

    yagr
  • JeroenJeroen Do it with a smile Netherlands Veteran

    I would try short sessions of vipassāna, putting the attention on the rise and fall of the lower part of the belly while breathing slow, steady breaths.

    BunksyagrDavid
  • At times when certain thoughts arise (wholesome or unwholesome), I find visualising the actual neurological thought pattern process in motion helpful...where thoughts explore/are thinking about thinking...

    I found by doing so it allows the mind to rest...

    The mind is no longer being charmed by its own thoughts

    yagrDavid
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    @Kerome said:
    I would try short sessions of vipassāna, putting the attention on the rise and fall of the lower part of the belly while breathing slow, steady breaths.

    Just to expand a little, labelling everything as it arises can be a powerful practice.

    Eg. thinking, thinking, anger, anger, craving, craving.

    Keep labelling until it passes.

    yagrDavid
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    … I replace the cacophonous burble

    Monkey mind = cacophonous burble
    Buddha Minding = Buddha cocoon bubble

    Shoshin1yagr
  • howhow Veteran Veteran
    edited August 14

    From one zafu's view on recurring thoughts...

    The human condition is a direction on a path that is energized by our habituated attention on one or more sense gates to the exclusion of all the others.

    Suffering's cessation is pointed to in the opposite direction of that path and is represented by a transcendence of such sense gate preferences and that allows for a free unmolested arising, existing and departing of all of our senses gate data flows.

    When you notice yourself habitually attending to one specific sense gate, you need do nothing more than widen your observation at that time to allow an equal viewing of all other sense gate data flows in the background that were being ignored to make room for the preferred one. When all the sense gates are returned to a more equal footing with each other, and for as long as they play respectfully with each other, no more directing is needed.

    Here we are just an audience observing our sense gates play on life's stage. A meditation practice is just a director enforcing enough collegiality amongst all of the sense gates to discourage any overt empire building or a hogging of a disproportionate amount of stage space.
    When the next unscheduled aria shows up on the mind stage, just inviting all the other sense gates out of the shadows to share in the spot light, gives that stage hog little reward for its attempted solo performances.

    Shoshin1lobsteryagr
  • JeroenJeroen Do it with a smile Netherlands Veteran

    When I get stuck in a thinking rut at night and meditation doesn't help, then I usually go have a cup of tea, or when I really don't feel happy, a glass of wine or a lorazepam (sleeping tablet). That tends to relieve my fixation.

    Bunksyagr
  • yagryagr Veteran

    Thanks all - good stuff. :)

  • yagryagr Veteran

    @how said:
    From one zafu's view on recurring thoughts...

    Fortunately, I found this useful. Unfortunately, I found this utterly fascinating so one sense gate is hogging the stage at the moment. O.o<3

  • howhow Veteran Veteran
    edited August 14

    @yagr

    Perhaps just the perfect mind party to address another attention grabbing spot light hog simply by being a better host to all the other guests in the shadows.

    yagr
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @how said:
    @yagr

    Perhaps just the perfect mind party to address another attention grabbing spot light hog simply by being a better host to all the other guests in the shadows.

    Petit fours anyone...?

    howyagr
  • DakiniDakini Veteran
    edited August 14

    "New thoughts"? Wouldn't you have new thoughts each time you had a new experience, or faced a new challenge, or learned something new and processed it, and applied it to life or enriched your worldview with it? Isn't it a good thing to have new thoughts, and to put ourselves in new situations?

    I'm not quite grokking, OP. IDK, maybe it's a sign that you're experiencing Growth. :) I think it's healthy.

    yagr
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Ah ha-ha! … processed and unprocessed being.

    All thought wanders. All Being is.

    What is Our Being? Or what is Our Presence?

    Here are some ways it is described:

    • Die before you die (Sufi)
    • The Cloud of Unknowing (Gnostic)
    • Coagulate and Dissolve (Alchemy)
    • I and I (Rastafari)
    • Blessed Be (Wicca)
    • Buddha (Woke)

    yagr
  • yagryagr Veteran

    @Dakini said:
    "New thoughts"? , or faced a new challenge, or learned something new and processed it, and applied it to life or enriched your worldview with it? Isn't it a good thing to have new thoughts, and to put ourselves in new situations?

    I'm not quite grokking, OP. IDK, maybe it's a sign that you're experiencing Growth. :) I think it's healthy.

    Right...let me figure out how to clarify.... btw, my mind thanks you for the job. :)

    Here we go...pulling this from a journal entry. I want to preface it by saying that this entry was made some time after that 'thing in November' rather than before:

    _I've joined a website called coursera.org...though I haven't started yet. It is a website that teaches thousands of courses through hundreds of colleges. Because literally thousands of people can go to a single class using an online platform, they are able to offer unlimited enrollment for a total cost of $296/year. Classes and courses such as Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity offered by Stanford University and taught by celebrated physicist and Associate Dean, Larry Lagerstrom. Or Intro to Neurohacking by Dr. Elizabeth Sweeney from John Hopkins University. Analysis of Algorithms taught out of Princeton, Causal Inference out of Columbia, etc. etc.

    Then, profound dissonance. Excitement grew as I described my personal paradise and then, just as the first shipment of adrenaline reached my heart with more on the way, I became blinded to both the draw and value of such classes. Physiologically, the signs of excitement continue to increase as the already released corticosteroids that flooded my system become absorbed; but psychologically, the feelings brought about by accessing these educational and learning opportunities, dissipated instantly, replaced with indifference. Such a unique experience! _

    Okay, I think this might work as an example. You said, "Wouldn't you have new thoughts each time you had a new experience..." which is, of course, an excellent point. And I did have a new experience here - in fact, I ended the entry with the sentence, "Such a unique experience!" But the 'unique experience' was because I experienced an old experience in a new way - independent of the karmic relationship that I had with it in the past. There are, as near as I can tell, bits and pieces of my personality that are dissolving. Most of it is still here by the way, but more parts are defecting to the dissolution camp regularly. Is this a good thing? Of course! But I am finding it exhausting.

    I'm not finding it helpful that I can see that the exhaustion is a result of my resistance to that dissolution. The solution, 'stop resisting', is easy to see but difficult to execute. At this moment, I am resisting as little as I can - and am actually proud of myself for how much progress I've made in that endeavor. I can see that my efforts are working. I am not doing everything skillfully, but I am making many new mistakes instead of the habitual old ones over and over ad nauseum. With that said, let's see if I can wind this down...

    Ever tried to break a habit? Let's assume you have and use 'biting your fingernails' as an example. There you are, watching television, and you catch yourself biting your nails absentmindedly. Lifting your hand to your mouth was so easy, you didn't even need to think about it consciously to do so. Same holds for putting your nail in between your teeth and biting down. Being mindful takes conscious energy. Taking your hand out of your mouth takes more. Putting it back down in your lap takes even more. Not judging yourself for having 'slipped' takes much, much more. I am attempting to stop 4,304,219 habits all at the same time. Once you see that the way you were behaving was destructive to yourself, how can you continue it? I can't stop 'seeing', I'm exhausted, and I keep seeing more and more and more... So yeah, I'm going with positive - but just because you landed your dream job doesn't mean you won't ever need a holiday. I need a holiday - or at least a weekend. That's what I meant. :)

  • DakiniDakini Veteran

    O.o

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    I need a holiday - or at least a weekend

    Thanks for the tour. Not surprisingly, there is only The Magical Mystery Tour. What is that like? All mind or all mined? How can we trip peacefully?

    Firstly our destructive tendencies routes are not taken. We travel with the gentlest. We do the wisely recognisable goods:

    • We seek solitude amidst the crowd of fantastic thinking.
    • We even in abundance, simply live.
    • We are not swayed from peace and good will
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