Updated: Nov 6, 2019
Chapter Two: The Content of our Thinking
It is staggering how much noise and chatter there is from all of the thinking in my head. It is as if I am carrying around a miniature coffee shop in my brain at all times. In the coffee shop of my mind is a cast of characters traipsing in and out of the door. There is Dolores and Igor and Serenity and Pippy and Bob and Aspen and a Border Collie named, Taz. They all have their very distinct personalities -- the critic, the explorer, the apologizer, the investigator, the starving artist, the imaginative writer. And there is always music playing. The endless soundtrack to my thoughts.
For years, I carried this coffee shop around in my head, quite entertained by it. Often escaping into it in order to figure out or run away from a situation in my life. For years I listened to the coffee shop but could not see beyond it. I would get caught up in its scintillating storylines and unfolding dramas of its curious characters.
It wasn’t until I started deepening my yoga practice and found meditation that I discovered there was a place beyond the coffee shop. A quieter mind. Then I stumbled upon an even richer understanding of our innate well being, called the Three Principles. See my previous post, “The Most Important Understanding that You’ve Never Heard Of”. Then, I understood that there was not only a quiet mind, but a deeper mind.
The deeper mind is a space where the innate intelligence of life just silently and invisibly works its magic. Regardless of me and my thinking. Regardless of whether I know it's doing it or not.
What if the content of our thinking is less important than the fact that we think?
If we zoom way out of our small bubble of self-perspective, and look at ourselves with a broader telescope, we see with more clarity that we are beings blessed with a body and a spirit, who think. We think a whole heck of a lot.
The nature of thought is ever transient, ever-changing, ever-moving. In any one given day, we have thinking that can be labeled happy, sad, angry, agitated, excited, furious, and fantastical. Analyzing the content of our thinking by focusing only on one type of thought — anxious, depressed, angry — is like calling a rainbow purple.
Our individual dramas and storylines are so appealing that we get tricked into thinking that the content of our thoughts matter. And sometimes they do.
We get so caught up in the storyline that we can no longer see that it is a storyline, that it is all thought. As if we were sitting watching a movie, and suddenly got transported into the movie as the main character.
But most times, thoughts are just passing boats on the water. It turns out that my coffee shop is floating on a small boat on top of an ocean of peace and tranquility. The ocean is the deeper mind.