The value of not thinking

22 Jan

Paul Hebert advises Don’t Think About the Recession – It Will Make It Worse. There’s a lot of merit to that.

One of the key principles taught in vipassana and other forms of Buddhist-based meditation practices is how to respond to your thoughts. If you try not to have any thoughts, you will inevitably be barraged by them. And if you try to have lots of thoughts, your brain will come up dry as a bone. The key is to acknowledge each thought as it arises, gently note it without judgment, and let it go … like a stream flowing by, never attaching to one particular thought.
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Just after New Year’s, I was reading a recap of last year in a major metropolitan newspaper. The author talked about what a rotten year it had been — that annus horribilis concept again — and how EVERYONE must be glad to see 2009 end. And I thought “Wait a minute. Was the year personally bad for me? No question. But it wasn’t universally bad. Many people fell in love. Many people had babies. Many people got promotions. Many people decided it’s time to start a business.”

What we really need is hope, and a reminder that potential is everywhere if we choose to look at it that way. We won’t see it if we dwell on the recession we’re in. If we close ourselves off because all the “bad news” floating out there in our mass consciousness indicates we should think everything is bad, we’ll never see potential when it’s right in front of us. Perhaps a little balance is called for.


One Response to “The value of not thinking”

  1. Jason January 25, 2010 at 10:57 pm #

    Very true indeed, what we need is hope. Recession or not, hope keeps us afloat.


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