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ReMindful - The Happening-ness of Thought (3:26 mins)


With whatever you’re looking at right now; to what extend do you feel you are having to make ‘seeing’ happen?

Or are you just seeing?

And with nearby sounds, how hard are you having to work to pull them into your awareness?

Or are you just hearing them whether you like it or not?

When you pick up a cup of coffee, how much freedom do you have to NOT sense its weight? Or the feeling of it in your hand? Or it’s aroma?

The idea of cultivating mindful awareness is, to a large extent, to become intimately aquatinted with the simple ‘happening-ness’ of everything; to recognise there is no 'Controller' within you pushing buttons and pulling levers, choosing what its like to be you moment by moment.

We are receivers of sight, sound, tastes, smells, physical sensations. We’re not making any of it happen.

And the same is true of our thoughts.

This can be tricky to comprehend at first. After all, can’t we choose our own attitude? What to pay attention to? To go left instead of right?

Of course, the answer is, yes you can.

However, arriving at those points of decision is dependent on the myriad of prior choice-less causes and conditions that have already happened, or are happening.

Even when you think you are choosing your thoughts, are you really?

Or are you simply claiming authorship of whatever the mind has served up.

If a totally different arbitrary thought had happened to have arisen in its place, chances are you’d have the same sense of authorship over that too, like it were precisely what you intended to think.

If I ask you to think of any film from the 80’s, one is likely to just pop into your head.

But why that one?

Why not one of literally thousands of other films you could have chosen.

So, how much control did you really have in making the choice? Or did the mind just serve it up for you?

How confident are you that you know what your very next thought is going to be?

Or is it more likely that it will just arise, accompanied with the feeling that you made it happen?

Recognising the true nature of thought is significant. Getting to see the mere ‘happening-ness’ of it all.

If we’re not choosing what we think, then it can’t be personal.

If it's not personal, then it doesn’t make sense to be identified with our thoughts.

Thoughts are happening, but they’re not you.

Knowing this at an intellectual level is interesting at best.

Feeling it as a matter of direct experience is a source of incredible freedom.

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