Working with Thoughts…

by meditative - March 31st, 2016

Are we aware of the karmic impact of our thought patterns?

Thoughts simply arise in our consciousness- sometimes they manifest with intention and on many occasions they stream into awareness out of the reactionary impulse of our automaticity– to be continually ‘charged’ and conditioned by a ‘thinking mind’. Although our meditation practice is not ‘thinking’, it can certainly emerge as clear awareness or ‘awarenessing‘ of thinking. To become aware of our thought process can help us to learn much about its inherent nature; the underlying emotions and unseen feelings that drive the repetitive frequency of our thought process; as well as the capacity to clearly discern the difference between getting caught up in thought from being mindful of it.

To closely watch our thoughts and thought patterns, we can begin to see where we get ‘hooked’. Once seduced by the sirens of thought, we can become enmeshed in identifying, energizing, and following their stream of content. The energy our thoughts hold depends greatly upon how we relate to them as they are inherently ’empty’ unless we energize their content. In awareness, it is both purposeful and meaningful to discern wholesome from unwholesome thoughts in order to know which to truly energize with our attention. In reality, our thoughts have the potential for karmic impact- to lead us into actions that have all sorts of consequences. The real significance in our practice with thoughts is choosing what to act on and which to simply let be & let go.

It takes genuine discipline to stay with our thoughts- a relaxed alertness and refined, abiding attention to observe their subtlety and ‘slippery’ nature to stream into our consciousness one after another. As the mind quiets with our evolving practice, the torrent of rushing thought begins to slow and our observing ability to freely attend (i.e. ‘mindsight’) grows clearer, stronger, and more reflexive onto itself. Consequently, there becomes less identification with our thoughts as well as fewer unconscious rides.With trained attention, their power to lead us astray can be diffused and transmuted by a refined or higher-ordered form of discerning awareness energized to simply witness our thought process as it is. Without indulging- and in the absence of identification with our thoughts, they remain ’empty’.

The conditioned forces behind our repetitive thoughts need to be greeted with curiosity, openness, and kindness. Becoming more sensitive to our thought process, and by paying careful attention, the unseen feelings often driving our patterns of cognition reveal themselves. Mindful insight continues to follow from a transformed quality of attention- a ‘clear seeing’ of the thoughts that shape and move our states of mind- and our states of being and doing. Mind training and cultivating a ‘mindsight’ of open awareness and free attention to see things clearly- as they are– has real power to transform us, and to liberate us from the streams of thought that often enslave us and lead us down unwholesome paths.