Don’t look for thoughts where there are none

let it go balloon

Have you ever been merrily going about your business, perhaps living purely in the moment, when your unconsciousness interjects with some type of made up problem? Perhaps you thought you’d moved on from an earlier problem, only for your mind to bring it back up to the surface, like a jealous childhood friend who gets jealous over your contentedness, and looks for ways to hijack your happiness. Sometimes it’s hard for us to ‘just be.’  I mean to say, that we spend so much time focusing on what’s wrong and how to fix it, we don’t know what to do when our mind takes a break. And, we even go looking for problems sometimes.

If you don’t know what I mean, maybe you’ve observed this in a co-worker, family member or friend who only seems to be happy when there’s something to be unhappy about. Once upon a time, I worked with a few of these people. It’s as if they truly don’t know how to enjoy the peace of stillness. Like their brain is telling them, “Wait there’s nothing wrong right now, what’s wrong?  There must be something I’m supposed to be upset about right now.  No? Well, let’s find something.” This isn’t a judgement of their character, but of our upbringing in general. Let’s face it, we’re a society of scab-pickers who can’t leave well enough alone.

For the over-analytical population (myself included) we have a tendency to exhaust ourselves looking for the thoughts that feed our emotions, when truly we are neither thought or emotion.  And, by simply bringing awareness to an emotion or a feeling that arises enables us to come into the present. Being with the feelings IS presence, aversion is not.

This happened to me the other morning, I was getting ready for work after my morning practice, and noticed that I was feeling anxious. So rather than going on a thought-spelunking mission which would inevitably take me out of the moment and likely cause more pain, I decided just to sit with the feeling for what it was.  Eventually, it went away.  As I became the watcher of all that’s happening with this body and mind, I’m able to witness be-ing. This doesn’t mean that we’ll never feel pain, rather with observance and the practice of letting go of attachment AND aversion, we become the self beyond thought. And that is bliss.

“All problems are illusions of the mind.” ― Eckhart Tolle


– Your Charmed Yogi

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10 thoughts on “Don’t look for thoughts where there are none

  1. Wow! This post is awesome. You have a way with words that always hits home. Thank you for being so generous with your yoga family:) I am teaching yoga in NY and have shared your words – with all due credit to you – at some of my classes. Firing my printer up now; this one -Don’t look for thoughts where there are none- is a keeper for sure. Thanks so much for sharing your magnificent musings with us. Namaste, Charlene

  2. Your encouragement to avoid attachment and aversion via experiencing emotions in stillness makes sense. Question: How might one engage in the act of being in love and experiencing the bliss of connection in addition to being free from attachment and aversion?

    • Seth, I think Eckhart Tolle explained in a way that I could best articulate. What we often mistake for love is an egoic attachment to desire for someone. We become addicted to that person or your image of that person, it has nothing to do with true love which contains no wanting whatsoever.

      • I appreciate your thoughtful response, however my question, probably poorly worded, was, in effect…..”Gosh if bliss is not being attached while concurrently avoiding aversion (ie bliss is independence without shutting out the world), how does one engage in the beauty of union in addition to that tennant? ” Im hearing you assert that the most satisfying state of mind one can attain is always singular. If one self actualized person comes into honest union with another independent self actualized/realized person, can they not attain bliss in the act of joining while mutually accepting one another? You write wonderfully and wisely but Ive noticed in the writing of numerous yogis a tendency to discount the power of two despite our inclination (emotionally and physically) to seek the company of mates . I enjoy Tolle but to assert all love is an addiction is to demonstrate less awareness than he usually does. So….yes I agree bliss can obtained thru a meditative state akin to complete nothingness (or complete connection) but that bliss can also be obtained when in love (defined as accepting of and cherishing another+primal desire for). We can be more than thought and very physical and primal. If this strikes a chord with you I am curious about your response. Thank you for the thought you so kindly share. – Seth W

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