"The thought of your Mother is not your Mother."
Joseph Goldstein, the meditation teacher whom with amazing people like Jack Kornfield and Sharon Saltzberg started the Insight Mediation Society, was told this phrase by the person teaching him meditation.
Goldstein said, "My teacher would say that often. It highlights the importance of understanding the nature of thought and what a thought is, and that the thought of something is not the thing. It's a thought."
"Whether it's a meditation or just going around in the world, you're having all kinds of thoughts...and when we're not aware that these are thoughts in the mind, we get pulled into the story."
"It's like going to the movies and becoming so absorbed in the story within the movie, and all the emotional effect from being lost in the movie, and forgetting for that period of time that it's a movie, and nothing is really happening."
We get caught in the movie all the time. We're running that story in our head. In our lives, we're constantly lost in the "movie." So much of what we're thinking about is causing us stress because we're taking the thought to be the reality itself, and not seeing that it comes and goes, and really has no substance.
Thoughts are fine. Many are useful. We just have to be discerning. But the only way that we can exercise that discernment is to be aware that they ARE JUST THOUGHTS!
We can interpret the conditions, feelings, words, actions and conditions of people. But when we begin to live in that state, we can drive ourselves crazy.
Going back to the breath, recognizing moment by moment what you're doing, and breathing through the jabber between your ears can reset that feeling of chaos and, like yesterday's post, keep you from "moving to Venezuela." In yesterday's story, the poor man was so far into his head that scenarios must have kept coming up, one after another after another, and before he knew it all he could visualize, before he even met the poor woman, was the necessity to move to Venezuela!
Just breathe into your head some sanity. Again, the tools that I've mentioned to help this process are the Yoga for Anxiety breathing technique by Adriene and, of course, daily meditation.
More tomorrow. In the meantime, trust, feel, breathe, believe, breathe some more, smile, and laugh. The discernment within your thoughts will be so much easier to do now.
If you feel you need somebody to talk you through this process, go to acoachforyourheart.com and book a session!