Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Traffic of your Thoughts

One of the greatest distractions on path of inner journey is “the traffic of your thoughts in the mind”. Imagine, if there is lot of traffic on the road, all kinds of vehicles moving here and there, some slow, some fast, and all that honking, it makes your journey such a horrible experience, you are all the time frustrated, you don’t even look around to appreciate the beauty of the rising sun, you can’t even feel the wind coz its so polluted outside, you are forced to roll your windows up, the whole experience becomes a nightmare. Similarly, in your inner journey the traffic of your thoughts make it almost impossible to venture in. You try to close your eyes and do meditation and immediately you start encountering all kind of rubbish thoughts. And the traffic of thoughts becomes so heavy that in frustration you just open your eyes and give up the whole idea of inner journey. This traffic of your thoughts makes your inner journey almost impossible, even walking few steps becomes a very uphill task, an overall demotivating, dejecting experience, so you just drop this whole effort. This thought traffic just sucks all your energy.

If you have a real urge to tread the path of inner journey, you must see the origin of your thoughts and you must learn how to really maneuver through them. Have you ever observed that your thought traffic is directly related and proportional to the quantum of your EGO (the non-existent illusionary self). Just observe, if somebody argues with you and insults you real badly, it really hurts your EGO. Basically it’s your illusionary, non existent self which is feeling the hurt and pain. Your whole attention and focus goes in the hurt. And as a law of nature, wherever you put your attention/focus, your energy will start flowing towards that and the object of your focus will grow bigger and bigger. Since, now your focus becomes on hurt and on those insulting words, your ego starts expanding. As your ego starts expanding, parallely the traffic of your thoughts starts growing. You start thinking how to teach the rival a lesson and so on. The same happens if somebody praises you, again it bloats your EGO and in the same proportion your thought traffic starts expanding, you start getting the thoughts like how good you are, how the whole world is praising about you, what a great thing you did and so on.

Now if you look from the other side, let’s say you love dancing or swimming or any such activity. As you start dancing, slowly you will come in your flow and in few moments you will just be dancing without even being aware of who is noticing, how are your steps working, are you doing it right or no… you will just become the dance. And at that moment if you notice, your thought traffic is completely gone. You are just dancing. You are not even aware of your surrounding and their various reactions, coz now you are in your real self. Your EGO has ceased to exist for those few moments and hence no thoughts at all.

In both the above situations you will notice that size of your EGO (the non-existent illusionary self) and quantum of your thoughts are absolutely proportional.

There are many techniques to control your thought traffic and manage your EGO, I’m going to discuss just one of them. Most of the eastern religion and sages believe in the concept of non-duality, that everything is one, that it is our false EGO which creates individuality, which divides I from you and which creates all the phenomenon of duality. So, basically speaking, duality is false, it creates the big illusion. In this world every negative thing can be used positively, like the nuclear energy can be used for generating electricity rather then killing people, similarly the notion of duality can be positively used to control your thoughts and manager your Ego.

And you can approach this practice from two sides. From one side you work on your thoughts and from other side you work on your EGO using the concept of duality in a positive way.

So, if you are working from the side of your thoughts, whenever overpowering thoughts arises due to any external situation, you just try to create a duality with the thoughts. Just witness your thoughts and feel that you are completely separate from them. Don’t give them any energy. Normally what happens, if a thought comes we acknowledge it and make a reaction, the moment we make a reaction the chain starts. And we make the reaction because we get identified with the thought, we get involved with it. For example, you get a thought that your colleague in office is spreading bad rumors about you, immediately you become identified with this thought and you respond. The moment you respond to your thoughts, you are basically fuelling them, giving them more energy and as you fuel them they start growing. You immediately start thinking how to avoid your colleague’s rumor, or how to teach him a lesson or how to create your clean image etc. By reacting to one thought, you started a chain reaction. So, use the sword of Duality in a positive way. Whenever a thought comes, feel as if you are different from the thought. Just witness the thought as an external phenomenon, don’t get identified with it, don’t react to it, and don’t get engaged with it. Just be aware that you are separate from the thought. This is really using the concept of duality in a positive way for your betterment. This is like using the poison as a medicine.

Now, you can approach it form the false EGO side as well. Whenever any incidence happens (and they keep happening all the time) big or small, like if someone insults you and now your EGO is about to feel the pain, immediately, use the medicine/poison of duality. Feel as if you are different from your false EGO. Your false self will try to react, will try to feel the pain and thereby initiating a chain reaction. But you just cut it at its very root. Tell your false EGO that “you are false, you don’t exist, I’m separate from you, at this moment, I don’t want to feel the hurt, go away”… and slowly you will realize that you have started taking the control of the false EGO, it will start getting smaller and smaller and finally gone. The process here is also the same, you are just not getting identified with you false EGO, you are not giving it any energy, you are not starting any reaction. Rather, you are creating a duality, a BIG duality between your real self and your false illusionary self (EGO).

Using the technique of duality to feel separated from your false EGO and your thoughts is a real meditative practice, it is your moment to moment sadhana. Because to practice this, you have to be awake every moment. Initially you will encounter many problems. Your false EGO and thoughts are very strong right now, coz you have given them a lot of your energy. You have been feeding them, they have grown stronger and bigger, so the process is going to be a tapasya, you have to be very attentive and dedicated. From now on stop giving the food to your false EGO and your thoughts, rather save your energy to discard them, to create a duality with them. Use all your gained energy in the process to fuel your real SELF, to make it much more stronger. End of the day, it’s all about channelizing your energy and practicing awakefullness. If you are watchful, you can channelise your energy as per your choice and wish, and if you are asleep, it will get channelised to some undesired areas. It is the same energy, its quality is to flow all the time and you have the capacity to control and channelise this great flow of energy and ride on it for your inner journey. Have an exciting and pleasurable journey. Remember “The Journey is the Goal”…

Love to the god sitting inside you.

3 comments:

Priti said...

Your blog was forwarded to me by my friend Anjali. I quiet like the way you have described how to alienate your thoughts & ego and just observe. In past I have been trying to observe my thougts but very often tend to get involved and as you have put it give it energy. The false ego, I complete agree, takes over. We as humans are afraid of the death of this ego. Could you give another technique/meditation for observation of thoughts please.
Thanks
Priti

Monk Joel said...

Dear Priti,

Yes it happens, most of the times, we get identified & involved with our thoughts. The maya jaal of EGO – Thoughts is quite engaging. A dedicated meditator/seeker can have many ways to calm the mind.

First, lets look at the origin of thoughts from another angle… in some senses thought is basically an “Output” and if its an Output then there must be some Inputs also which govern the kind of thoughts we get. Now, lets look at all the Inputs which we give to our BODY, MIND, SOUL all the time…

Body – just look at what kind of food we give to our body, full of oils, un-organic, really unbalanced. Look at the air we breathe – polluted with all kinds of poisonous gases. Look at the water we drink, full of unwanted bacteria’s, metals and soon.

Mind – look at all the various kinds of inputs you give to your mind by way of what you see (all kind of non sense ads all around you, which fuel greed/desire in you, what you see on TV all the time – news of violence, movies full of lust/greed/desire, saas bahus and all of that), look at what you hear (all kind of unnecessary traffic noises, neighbourhood hulas, music which is quite violent and is more of a noise), what you smell (the smell of non-veg that you eat, the garbage of city and so on)…

Soul – we don’t have any idea about what it is…

I can go on and on for this… but the bottomline is “start creating the right SANGHA for all right inputs in you, and once you start doing that, the Output of thoughts will be much better/controlled and pure…

Just see, how many times you have woken up early morning “Amritvela” which is the purest time of day to listen to some nice devotional music, keertans, bhajans, how many times have you gone for a long walk in the lap of nature to get fresh air and divine smell of droplets on the grass, how many times have you sat by flowing water to read a nice book by any great master, how many times have you survived on just plain simple cooked food, liquid diet etc. how many times, have you sat in the company of wise ones to discuss/explore the hidden mysteries of life… we have stopped appreciating life, we have made our lives full of unnecessary struggle… start surrendering yourself to divine existence, become sensitive, create right sangha (all of the above makes a right sangha)

I can surely give you many techniques to work on thought control, but my friend, as I said, thoughts are just the outcome, if you need real transformation/real bliss, forget about the outcome, start working on the source directly… don’t waste your time in plugging the symptoms, it’s a very temporary relief thing. Leave the habit of instant coffee, let the beans brew naturally… so start with a holistic work for real inner transformation and a blissful life…

BTW for better communication: do write me at monkjoel@gmail.com I check this almost daily…

God bless you my friend.

cheers

Vaibhav Gumashta said...

Nice post, I would love to comment and argue! :)