(TORONTO, ON) – Your ability to meditate hopefully gives you time to contemplate how your mind is operating. Thoughts can be triggered automatically based on a whole host of circumstances, particularly past experiences. It’s happened that way in the past so it is simply going to repeat itself.
This is not helpful to a healthy mind to have this occurring.
Remember that thoughts are mental events and, in many cases, they are not factual, but rather just a reaction. What has happened yesterday does not mean it will happen today.
Negative thoughts can send you over the cliff unless you can recognize them simply as negative thoughts. Recognize them for what they are … mental thoughts and not necessarily an upcoming reality.
While meditating you can calmly watch the thoughts in your mind. At best, you’ll recognize them simply as your thought process as opposed to your reality. Meditation cultivates awareness of these thoughts and you should be able to ask many questions about them.
Is your reaction to a thought a matter of stress, anxiety, or depression?
Are you overestimating a negative outcome?
Are you treating yourself too harshly in the face of these thoughts?
Are you focusing on your weaknesses as opposed to your strengths?
Meditation and cultivating awareness about your thoughts enables you to analyze these thoughts and perhaps make decisions in a more rational and compassionate away. Yes. You are becoming your own psychiatrist.
If you can recognize your thoughts, and realize they are just thoughts, you can liberate your mind from the tyranny of thought. You may be able to toss aside useless and stress causing thoughts and behaviours and focus on what is important.
Now, the key to this is meditation. That is not the goal, but a process that cultivates awareness of the thoughts going on in your mind.
Hopefully you can catch the destructive and anxiety-ridden thoughts, and recognize them as negative, and turn them aside to instead focus on what you can accomplish in a self-respectful manner.
If you think what I am saying is West Coast mush, and if you can’t spend at least half an hour to yourself, thinking about what is going on in your mind, be prepared for self-destruction, or for mindless hours of mollification in front of your television screen. You won’t have to think at all.