Thought Indulgence

When you start meditating or attempt to quiet your mind, one of the first things you will notice is that you can’t stop thinking. We take this condition as normal. Serving life, we don’t think of this as a problem, as long as the thinking stops when we go to sleep. When thoughts start invading your sleep, you may encounter insomnia, which is regarded as a disorder. But when thinking stops us from being in the present moment during waking hours, this is not considered a disorder. We think of this condition as normal. We don’t think there is anything wrong with thinking all day long.

The truth of the matter is that most of us have a thinking addiction over which we have lost control. We can’t stop thinking even when we want to. We wait until we are so tired that we can’t stay awake and then go to sleep. We accept this as normal. For a self-realized person, this is not normal. A self-realized person thinks and feels only when they want to.

Our intellect is like a car without an off switch. It keeps running with thoughts until it runs out of fuel. If you had a car that you couldn’t switch off, would you accept that as normal? While the intellect has energy, we are overwhelmed by the compulsion to remember, reason, infer, or imagine. Giving it more energy, by doing pranayama, for example, only exaggerates the problem. We then confront it with sleeping pills, and groggy days. Or we displace it with other addictions that are worse, like drinking to forget. Or we take drugs to step beyond the confining boundaries of logical reasoning. Some watch movies to distract their intellect. Others play games.

Do you think this situation is acceptable? Are you aware that you are thinking all the time? What do you think about? Who is thinking? Where are these thoughts originating from?

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