Asheville Sangha

Supporting Non-Duality and Awakening in Asheville and Beyond

Like most people, I find myself caught in repetitive thinking from time to time. It’s usually about something that I need to do in the future, and can be rather bothersome. For example, when I’m laying in bed thinking about something I think I need to do in the future. Obviously there are times when you may need to think ahead or plan, but we tend to get stuck in overthinking things that are really of no importance in the grand scheme of things. It may be helpful to ask yourself, “Can anything be done about this situation now?” If not, why waste time thinking about it?

In my experience very little thinking is actually necessary to make things happen. We do things all day long without thinking about them. But we have a tendency to dwell on certain things instead of just doing them or letting them go. So, let’s explore what happens when we stop thinking about doing things and let things happen.

The next time you have time where you don’t need to be anywhere in particular, just stand in the middle of the room and wait to see what happens. Whatever the body decides to do, go with it. Let the mind follow instead of lead. It may be that you just stand there waiting for something to happen for a few minutes, but eventually there will be movement. It may begin by just turning your head to look at something. As you observe, ask yourself, “I wonder what it’s* going to look at next?” Then wait and watch. Movement will happen eventually. When it does, allow that sense of curiosity to return. “Now what’s it* going to do?” Notice how your mind doesn't need to be in control for action to occur.

Spend some time with this and you can build more trust in just allowing. Use it the next time you go to the store. “I wonder which aisle it’s going to go down?” “I wonder what it will pick up next?” Wonder is the optimum word here. Just wonder at how Life does what it needs to do without you needing to think about it. “I wonder what it* will think of next?” is another interesting thing to ask. You never know, nor can you control, what thought is going to pop in your head next. But there is value in watching the mind just like you watch the body in this way of wonder.

In this exercise you are engaged in active and attentive waiting. This creates stillness even when there is movement and directs your attention to the present moment.The deeper you go into the present moment, the deeper the sense of wonder gets. You can then connect with the mystical impulse of Life that makes things happen. That impulse is ever present but can only be appreciated when thought isn’t covering it up. You can uncover it by letting Life move you instead of you trying to move it. Where is this thing going? We can’t know until we’re here.

* By the way, referring to the body/mind as an IT is a good way to create some space around who you think you are so you can pay more attention to what you really are -- Life itself.

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