How can we change the chain of thoughts in our mind?
Transcribed by: Suresh Gupta
Question: How can we change the chain of thoughts in our mind?
Answer: We can change the chain of thoughts in our mind. There are three broad ways in which it can be done. They are as follows:
1. Force ourselves to focus on the physical reality. For example, if we are driving while being lost in our own thoughts, and suddenly we see another car charging towards us, we are forced to come back to the physical reality and then navigate our way around. If there is something that demands our attention at the physical level of reality, then we quickly snap out of our thoughts. In some ways, deep breathing helps. Taking deep breaths and becoming conscious of our breaths bring us to the physical level, thereby breaking the chain of thoughts. Some people also go for a walk or a jog.
2. Analysis at the level of the thoughts itself, is another way. If an undesirable thought comes, then we try to change that thought. However, that is only possible if we have something more attractive to direct our thought to. Suppose we are worried or angry about something. For us to change such thought, we need something which is more attractive to us. If somebody is watching a movie, then they need to see something else which is more attractive than the movie to give up watching movie. Therefore, developing healthy mental habits help us change our thoughts. Healthy not just in terms of being beneficial but in the sense that we become attached to it.
3. The third level is the spiritual level. At a spiritual level, if we become aware that we are different from these thoughts and that we are the inner seer, that helps. In general, thoughts are like pop-up windows. If we don’t click on those windows, they will stay for some time and then they disappear. Another example is that sometimes kids make some strange faces to catch attention. If nobody pays attention to them, they will make more and more faces, but after some time when they see that nobody is paying attention, then they eventually just stop. In the same way, if we can understand we are different from these thoughts and then we neglect them by situating ourselves at the spiritual level, then that will free us from the chain of thoughts we get caught up in.
Overall, the physical level is the easiest method, but it is not always effective. We may try to take deep breaths a few times but then soon after we may again find ourselves caught in our thoughts. Therefore, the most effective method is at the spiritual level itself. However, cultivating that takes time. The more we gain knowledge and become spiritually situated, we can recognise our thoughts and have the strength to neglect them.
End of transcription.