In my last post, I talked about The Three Principles: Mind, Consciousness, Thought. Indeed, these Principles enable us to acknowledge life and our existence. Mr Sydney Banks, the originator of the Three Principle theory, also referred to them as the Psychological Trinity.
I have received some emails from readers who wondered how they could ‘stop their thoughts’ or ‘stop their thinking’.
In my previous post, I had used the analogy of a river to depict our constant flow of thoughts. We cannot stop this naturally (building a dam doesn’t count as natural!).
But guess what? These thoughts have no power.
Thoughts only have power when you give it attention. Starved of attention, the thought just disappears (i.e. it is quickly forgotten).
Consider another metaphor: A teabag.
A teabag can be filled with the most fragrant tea leaves in the world, but I can’t do anything with it ‘as is’. I need hot water. When I immerse the tea bag in a cup of hot water, the hot water acts as the ‘attention’ I said earlier. Take a look inside the cup now, and what do you see?
That one little teabag has diffused its contents throughout the entire cup.
Not all thoughts are useful to us. A vast majority of thoughts are just random snippets about the past, which is not relevant anymore. Many people continue to be tormented by the past or worry about the future through those thoughts.
Your key action is not to give those thoughts any attention. And trust me, they will become fleeting moments. Let them come, and simply float away. That way, there will be no impact to your life whatsoever.
Of course, do we ever need to think? Only sometimes. We should think only when:
- We need to plan
- We need to make a decision of some sort
- We need to find information
- We need to seek solutions to problems
Those are the times when we truly need to put in thinking, but guess what? Those moments are very ‘present’, focused ‘in the now’, and bring you some results. By wrongly putting your energy on thoughts about the past or the future, those become obsessive thoughts.
How do we keep our thoughts ‘in the now’? The answer is awareness, and being fully present in whatever we are doing, from moment to moment.
How many people eat a meal without being fully present? As you are reading this blog post, do you feel your own heartbeat? Are you feeling the chair that you are sitting on?
In my next blog post, I will give you a couple of exercises, where you can learn to create and develop awareness. Only when you have awareness can you stop yourself from giving attention to unhelpful thoughts. On a positive note, the same awareness skill can direct useful thoughts to bring you advantages.