How to stop the endless stream of thoughts

© Alicakes

Practice the art of “listening.” You can do it at any time. At first, it’s simple but very difficult to do.

Here’s what you do…

Don’t think, unless your thinking has a purpose. The rest of the time just “listen.” Don’t think, only listen to thoughts coming and going.

Notice… there is no thought…
Ah! There is a thought and it said “xyz.”
Notice… there is no thought again…

We tend to think we need thought to be able to do anything but that’s not true. We need impulse and flow and awareness, but not the endless stream of thoughts. It’s a different quality, a different place of attention.

It’s like your mind is a still lake and each thought is a pebble thrown into the lake. It makes ripples for a little while, then the lake is still again.

Say this to yourself every so often…

“Thoughts come and go, and I remain aware.”

Then listen to the quiet afterwards, like you’re trying to hear a pin drop.

You will learn that most thoughts are random rubbish. Some are useful and need exploring, but most can simply be let go. When you get the hang of listening, it’s like a permanent meditation.

I remember one meditation where I was feeling quite peaceful as normal, then suddenly a wave of depression started to descend on me from nowhere. I just watched it and said “No” and it vanished… It was an amazing experience.

I could see how easily it could have sucked in all my attention, and I would have become that emotion…

That is the power of meditation.

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Michael Kinnaird is the author of Happy Guide, the result of a 20 year exploration into what works for health and happiness.

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