Friday, February 10, 2006

 

Observe your thoughts?

Have you ever tried to observe your thoughts without getting entangled in them? Do you find this practice helpful or interesting?

Comments:
Yes
 
Observe? As in separate myself from my thoughts as I'm thinking? I'm either thinking, or thinking about thinking. My thoughts, by nature, involve myself. I don't think one can really "observe" them. It'd be nice to get a little more clarity on the question.
 
Yes I have. What I have learned is that I am not my thoughts.
 
Absolutely necessary, or else you will find that the only time you open your mouth is only to change which foot you insert.
 
What are thoughts? Where is thought divided from perception. Have frazzlers ever perceived wikous thinking? Careful to forget innocently about the "I" part of being everyone's own me then possibly watch wheels of all like another but untanglement is precarious requiring concentration upon present absence to keep self blank but whole, transparent but still usable.
 
Yes ... click here if you want to read my answer ;-)
 
Thoughts are memetic entities which feed on our attention so it is quite easy with a little discipline to witness them "at a distance" as it were.
Thoughts and beliefs should be cultivated as one would tend a garden.
 
uhmmm. i hear other people... I think.

always think first. speak second.
 
That is what Buddhist meditation is all about. The monks know it all!
 
d.all of the above

perogative is given often for the almost imperceptable glide we make from one thought to the next here's a comfort ;
a mind of thougt is like the leaves on a tree in the wind ever changing

a companion on the brink of suicide made the statement "i can't shut off the "noise" (thoughts)" to which i replied "why would you? then how would you entertain yourself" it seemed to be a good thought, the companion is still here and not suicidal,
 
Who we really are exists in the space in between.
 
Yes. It's called Meditation : )
Always helpful; and interesting.

"Be great in act, as you have been in thought."
King John, Act V, Scene I
-- William Shakespeare
 
I'm not sure what you mean, but some things come to mind.

Once, when I was about 16, I had an experience that I don't have a name for. I was lying on the couch, listening to music. Okay, I'll admit it. It was Chuck Mangione. For a period of several minutes (through most of Feel so Good and all of whatever song comes after it) I was completely in the present moment. I remembered nothing and anticipated nothing. The only thought I had was to briefly wonder if I was sleeping, and to realize that I wasn't. My eyes were closed, so I saw nothing, but I was absolutely aware of everything I could hear and feel. I heard every note of the music as clearly as if it were the only note being played, every car that drove by the house, the sound of the air conditioner kicking in, the click of the dog's toenails on the tile floor. I never opened my eyes until the moment had passed and I was once again thinking in terms of past and present. I've always wondered if I could train myself to go into that state at will, and do it with my eyes open. And I wish I could repeat the experience with better music. It only happened one other time. That time it was The Moody Blues, and it didn't last as long. I've had vaguely similar experiences with the aid of mind altering drugs, but nothing to compare with my Chuck Mangione event.

Speaking of drug induced observances of thought, more than once I've had the pleasure of watching my thoughts roll by as if they had nothing to do with me. I was a spectator, just watching my mind work without trying to control it. I wasn't making any effort to learn or remember anything, so I couldn't tell you what I thought. It was just pure entertainment without a purpose. If it weren't illegal I would highly recommend the experience to adults.

And the last, and least interesting, thought that comes to mind is the practice of trying to see my thoughts objectively. When I'm considering something important I like to pretend I'm hearing the idea from a stranger. I'll even put it into words, speaking out loud if I'm alone, just to hear how it sounds to me. I find that it helps me to decide if I'm making a rational, fair decision, or just having a self-centered, emotional, knee-jerk reaction.
 
I'm somewhat like the others who do not completely understand the question. But I have a comment.
Years ago I began having conversations in my mind with other people. It may sound terribly strange, but (they) usually take another side to what is being discussed & do it in a way that is better described than the side I take.
It seems as though I come away with a better understanding. Before you laugh too hard, try it.
 
I find myself in complete agreement with bdleaf. I would find it impossible to separate myself from my thoughts.

To a point, one can look at their thoughts on a more objective level after time has passed, & perhaps consider them on a less emotional level.

But, even doing that, aren't you "entangled" in them? They were your thoughts in the first place. I would not know how to become "unentangled".

Which means neither I or bdleaf(if I may speak for him or her)understand the response below bdleaf by anonymous. Unless anon. means he or she does not act on or become all of their thoughts. None of us do.

In a manner of speaking, we are our thoughts. What else could we possibly be? If we stopped being our thoughts, what would we be?
 
you might not be your thoughts but your the result of them
 
How can I simply observe my thoughts without been affected If I am the one who create and lead my thoughts?
 
Mr.Anonymous---that experience with the music Chuck Mangione was quite fascinating. I remember hearing the music of him on a particularly long dolorous afternoon in 1978, that seemed to drag on and on with an unexpected, ineffable boredom .

That you found something more intriguing upon hearing his music was a blessing---perhaps even a beatitude ---beyond pleasure and pain .

Or maybe what an uncle of mine named Herb (whom I never met) called a 'purple felicity' .

It is good that you had that experience . I wish people had experience like that more often .

Peace Be Unto You ,

Jason Leary at mudstones2@aol.com
 
POSTSCRIPT .

We are NOT the thoughts that go though our minds; though we are NOT necessarily greater than the thoughts that go through our mind .

Jason Leary at mudstones2@aol.com
 
Those new to spiritual concepts and eastern philosophy will find the whole "observe your thoughts" thing strange, but that's really the point: the suggestion that you have misidentified with your mind/thought when really there is an observer of those thoughts.

The following is a quote from Ekhart Tolle's the power of now that may aid in gaining a better understanding.

Ekhart Tolle:

http://www.soulfulliving.com/not_your_mind.htm

Your mind is an instrument, a tool. It is there to be used for a specific task, and when the task is completed, you lay it down. As it is, I would say about 80 to 90 percent of most people's thinking is not only repetitive and useless, but because of its dysfunctional and often negative nature, much of it is also harmful. Observe your mind and you will find this to be true. It causes a serious leakage of vital energy.

http://www.soulfulliving.com/not_your_mind.htm
 
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