Sometimes when I get stressed and tense or just have too much jumpy conceptual thinking, it’s helpful t0 just look at my mind. Not doing logical analysis or theorizing, but just looking. What is going on the mind right now? What is this very thought, disintegrating the moment it arises and making way for the next one?
Watching in this way allows the mind to relax. Instead of getting caught up in every little idea or feeling that bubbles up, grasping after it and identifying myself with it, they’re seen to be like passing clouds. The mind takes on a relaxed, space-like quality of openness, like the sky. Ahhhhh….
Tonight, I’ll spend a few minutes watching my mind like this. I’ll recognize that my thoughts, which seem so real and solid and meaningful, are just formless thoughts briefly passing by. This will allow me to step back from the contents of my thoughts so I do not get caught up in them, taking myself too seriously and taking everything that happens to me so personally.
This is a relief. It’s a type of wisdom that will give me perspective and allow me to better understand the causes of my states of mind. Thus, I’ll be better able to abandon mistaken, destructive mental states and to encourage the development of constructive mental factors, such as the altruistic intention to benefit others, the fortitude that does not respond to painful things with anger, and the loving-kindness that warmly holds others dear.