We are like a vessel without a helmsman at the mercy of the waves of our thoughts. The storm happens around us, and we are pushed in every direction by the wind of our emotions, of our thoughts. The only thing we hope is not to bang a rock who could hurt us. The most common thing about this is that we almost always forget that these thoughts are just thoughts, a product of our mind: namely, we are not our thoughts, but thoughts arises in our mind. Ordinary, people have from sixty to eighty thousand thoughts a day, and every thought gives an emotional response, so it would be useful to achieve some experiental knowledge about that and, in a second time, become more responsable of them. Every thought has his beginning, his time of duration and its end. We can immagine them like a movie projected on a white cinema screen. Who’s looking that movie? As a mirror can’t reflect himself, also a thought can’t observe a thought. That’s a good starting point to understand something new about what and how happens in our mind.
Let’s try a simple experiment!
1. Sit comfortably or lie down in your bed, and take the necessary time to relax a little bit. Make some gentle abdominal breath to increase that relaxation.
2. Then, say mentally toyourself the word “marmalade”,and take a minute to notice all the associative thoughts who arises in your mind. Youst notice them, without judging or making something to influence them. Just take a look to what is happening. Enjoy this movie.
3. After a minute, take note of all the mental association who happened during this minute in response to the word “marmalade”. Maybe you have thought that this is a stupid word, or evoked something related to your childhood. Also, notice if and how the thought association went away from the word in question producing thoughts about our everyday life, what we have to do, that we are unable to do such experiment etc…
4. Now, also notice that between two thoughts there was a gap, a pause… and that you are that pause between these thoughts, and that this gap exists even during the thought process. Realize that you are not your thoughts, you are what/who observes them.
Doing such experiment every day for a determined period could help you to be a little more detached, unidentified and less susceptible from what happens in your mind.