Imagine for a moment what your life might be like if you never again were to pick up a complaining thought or feeling. Think of how your days would flow without carrying the additional weight of those inner voices always telling you, "I'm too tired," or "This is too much for me!" The weight of the world would be replaced by a new sense of freedom. Fresh, new energies would flow.
If this is the kind of inwardly carefree life you really want, then look closely into these next two ideas that together tell one story of freedom: leaving troubled thoughts right where you find them is the same as not picking up what troubles you. And if you can leave just one of these weary thoughts behind you, then you can leave two, and three, and four, and fifty!
There's a way to know, without ever having to think about it, exactly which of your own thoughts and feelings are your friends, and which are foes: a totally thought-free way to understand which of your thoughts are practical and necessary for everyday life, and which are stealing your life with unsuspected self-compromise. It's true. You possess unsuspected powers of perception just waiting to be awakened. The following technique will help you get started.
Allow your eyes to fall on something familiar in the space where you are. Notice how your mind immediately gives that object a name. Having done this part of the exercise, keep your attention on whatever you've selected, and then continue to watch how more thoughts come into your mind about what you're seeing.
Now, while you're witnessing both that object and your growing stream of associative thoughts and feelings about it, just drop these thoughts and feelings.
You can still see the object, and you still know what it is -- but now you are knowing without thinking.
In this form of higher attention, you can see that the meaning of the object before you has not changed. The difference is that now its meaning speaks directly, silently to you – instead of you listening to your thoughts telling you about its meaning.
When it comes to seeing a chair or a pencil, this new kind of thought-free state may not seem too profound. But this practice can, and should, be enlarged to encompass your whole life.
The benefits behind the ability to understand something, or someone, without having to go into thought, cannot be over estimated. In our psychic carelessness, we unknowingly pick up and carry home with us self-compromising thoughts and feelings, so the solution we need and should seek, must be in a new kind of awareness.
Practice knowing without thinking. Begin today. Right now.
Let yourself see the meaning of individuals and their actions, of your behavior, of world events, of all your relationships – without telling yourself what you see. Again, let the meaning of what is before you reveal itself to you. Keep you out of it. If you don't, then self-compromising self-interest will come into and cloud the picture.
Bravely go through your day in this new way. Switch back and forth between your natural need for practical thought, as required in your business or home life, and this new state of seeing, of knowing without thinking. Be patient with yourself. For a while, you may feel as though you just have to pick up some thought or feeling, even though a part of you knows you shouldn't. Just learn to watch all of that too. And when you fail, try your best not to pick up self-judgmental thoughts.
Take this bold step towards living thought-free: Each morning, before you launch into your usual routine, find someplace where you can sit quietly by yourself for about ten minutes. If you have to get up earlier to make this time for yourself, then just do it. Use this time to do nothing except to be conscious of how your own mind refuses to join you in doing nothing.
But, don't work at this attempt to be thought-free. Instead, just silently observe how your thoughts won't stand still; see just how thought "full" you really are. Again, your aim is not to "do" something with these ten minutes, but see something about yourself during them. This is healthy self-acquaintance. Let your growing awareness that these tumbling thoughts have a life of their own serve as your first step in separating yourself from their influence. This is the marvelous beginning of self-silence. Up until now, you may have never questioned the notion that your thoughts didn't really belong to you. Now you can begin to witness this fact.
This exercise will help you see that your Real Nature is not any of those thoughts passing through you. Living without thoughts about yourself isn't far behind this inner discovery.
(Excerpted from "Freedom From the Ties That Bind", Llewellyn)
Link to Guy Finley's Non-Profit Life of Learning Foundation website: