How to Control Your Mind and Thoughts

Want to change your inner world? Better control your mind, as well as your thoughts? Here's the only way possible.

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Want to change your inner world? Better control your mind, as well as your thoughts?

Here's the only way possible:

1. Meditate daily. If you're one of those persons who quickly excuses yourself as having tried meditation and discovering it does not work for you, that's the first thought you need to change. Why? Because it isn't so. So much of our thinking is just that - wrong. Deceitful. And, the most deceived person is one-and-the-same deceiver. You CAN learn to meditate and you must, if you wish to learn to control your thoughts and your thinking.

Books on meditation are as abundant today as cookbooks. I would recommend The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation, written by Thich Nhat Hanh.

2. Observe your thoughts. Don't judge them, observe them. How many times has a thought popped into your mind - let's say some kind of judgmental thought about a colleague at work and, instantly, you jump into judgment mode, finding fault with yourself for even thinking something negative about someone else.

I would suggest an alternative solution to unwanted thoughts. Instead of quickly dismissing them and then judging yourself harshly for having such thoughts, start from the premise that thoughts are neither right nor wrong. They just are. It's what you do with your thoughts that introduce the "rightness" or "wrongness" of them. In other words, in the purported words of Martin Luther, "You cannot keep a bird from flying over your head; what you can do is prevent it from building a nest in your hair."

How? By observing your thoughts. In the east, this is called acting as the "witnessing presence." Like witnessing an accident and then reporting on it to the authorities. Be the observer of your own thoughts, even the ones that frighten you.

3. Cultivate the space between thoughts. In other words, as you train yourself to be the observer of your thoughts, you are actually cultivating what easterners call "the primary consciousness" that underlies all thinking. It is that "space between the notes," said Claude Debussy "that makes the music." If there were no spaces between the notes on a sheet of music, the sounds you would hear would not only be unintelligible but meaningless, even annoying.

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Dr. Steve McSwain
Related Topics: Thoughts, Negative Thinking
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