Thursday, February 10, 2011

Conflicts in thought and feeling

We all have times where we feel great. We also experience moments where we don’t feel so well and at times we when we close our eyes we have a million different thoughts. Wouldn’t you rather feel wonderful all the time? It is not as hard as you think. Join me as I explore the process of thinking and feeling and I will share a technique to help you start the process of feeling great.
When we speak of thoughts, they are as ubiquitous as stars in a night sky. With eyes open or closed, thoughts appear and disappear at random intervals and some of them are difficult to control. Where do these thoughts come from?
Thoughts are samples of impressions stored in our subconscious mind. Whatever we sample through our senses is stored as an impression in the subconscious mind. This subconscious mind is a like a file room of infinite capacity. Imagine entering one such file room and picking up pieces of paper that have fallen out of these files. If you don’t know which file they came from, you can’t put them back. These pieces of paper are thoughts. Thoughts can also be thought of as clouds in the sky. Clouds are formed by water evaporating from the surface of the earth. Thoughts are formed in the mind’s inner sky by “evaporation” of impressions stored in the subconscious mind. Just as clouds obscure your vision of a clear blue sky, thoughts obscure your mind and rob you of mental clarity.

When your mind is clouded by thoughts and you identify with some of these thoughts to the point where you don’t see your self apart from these thoughts, it turns to feeling. Some clouds obscure a clear blue sky. Other clouds bring rain. These rain bearing clouds are the thoughts that result in feeling. Thinking that you are rich is very different from feeling rich. Let’s say you buy a lottery ticket. Instantly your mind starts to spend the winnings on various things even before you have a chance you even win back the cost of the lottery ticket. You are thinking that you are rich and your mind is spending the money. If you actually win the jackpot of money you can then buy whatever your mind has already spent for you and you then identify with these thoughts and you and your thought become one and you feel rich.

Relationship of thought and feeling with the mind and body
To relate thoughts and feelings with the mind and body think of this example. When you place a pot of water on a hot flame, the water heats up, starts boiling and the water bubbles out of the pot. The flame is thoughts springing out of the subconscious mind. The pot is the body and the water is the mind. The boiling water that bubbles out of the pot is feeling. Water boils only if you bring the pot close to a flame. If you move the pot of water (mind) away from the flame (thought), there is no boiling water that bubbles over (feeling).  If you have the ability to be indifferent to thoughts that you don’t want to identify with, you can control how you feel.

Thinking and feeling great
The first step in doing this is controlling the mind. When we don’t feel good, we sometimes consciously distract the mind by doing things that are counterproductive to our health such as smoking (eg. some people relieve stress by smoking) and drinking (eg. to relieve feelings of depression some people take to drinking). The problem with this approach is that we temporarily subdue thoughts while we unknowingly file away more impressions in our subconscious minds that can surface later on as thoughts and result in recurring cycles of not feeling good.

A better and more lasting way to start the process of thinking and feeling good is to do the following.

1. Take a large sheet of white paper (2 feet by 3 feet).

2. In the center draw or paste a black circle (about 2 inches in diameter).

3. Pin the paper on a wall at a comfortable viewing distance. Without straining you eyes, stare at the circle in the center of the paper. Think of nothing but the black circle. As you practice more, you will be able to comfortably concentrate on the circle without blinking for several minutes.
After several minutes of looking at this, close your eyes. You will see a negative picture of what you saw with you with your eyes open. A white circle will be visible in a dark background.

4. Once you are able to see this white circle, try to concentrate on keeping this image in your mind. With repeated practice, you will be able to keep this for longer periods of time.

This technique with train your mind to keep your concentration with your eyes both open and closed. When undesirable thoughts pop up, close your eyes and try to visualize the white dot in the darkness that you see. In this manner you can gradually subdue and control the mind.