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It is not constant stimulation and unending streams of information that produce results, but calm, intuitive understanding that creates genius
Can you stop thinking? Try it. Stop Thinking. Stop reading this and come back in 30 seconds.
If you can honestly stop thinking for more than 30 seconds, you will have achieved a feat that virtually no one on the planet can do. As silly as it sounds, but the entire planet is addicted to thinking. Constantly judging, analyzing, thinking about the past, thinking about the future, “I’m hungry”, “I’m happy”, “We should go outside”, “We need or want this and that”, “I hate this”, “I love that”. This has become the normal default for most people, so much so, that people don’t even recognize that they are constantly thinking.
If true peace is ever to be felt, for even brief periods of time, the thinking must stop. At first it may be nothing but a brief glimpse, but through practice, the peace extends for longer and longer periods of time.
There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it soWilliam Shakespeare
There are several simple practices that can help reduce the incessant thinking.
Watch the breath
Take a massive deep breath in, hold it for 10 seconds, and let it out slowly. Begin to watch the breath for a few seconds. The breath will come and go by itself. Can you just watch it?
Feel your hands
Your body is in almost constant contact with stuff. Outside of being uncomfortable, how often do you pay attention to the stuff your body is touching? Try to feel the shirt on your back, the chair underneath you, your feet on the ground. It may seem boring at first, but that’s because your mind is still going. Can you simply feel? Can you feel the energy in your hands?
The old adage is that we listen but do not hear. This practice is also simple. Stop the mental commentary to momentarily just listen to the sounds around. Can you hear the birds chirping? The tapping of someone’s foot? The shaking of ice? The soft hum of the air conditioning? Do not judge them and think, “Oh how lovely, or Oh how awful,” for that is the thinking mind again. Just listen without judgement. Can you hear the whispers in the silence?
The goal of these practices is to simply shut the mind up. Our thinking mind will produce more pain and suffering in our own lives than any event, person, or experience can ever do. Make it a practice to stop thinking about the past and the future, and bring the attention to the here and now. That’s all there ever really is anyway. Let the mind and ego go. Permit yourself to be in the moment. Through that permission, you will begin to experience deeper and deeper peace and calm.