Always Well Within

Calm Your Mind, Ease Your Heart, Embrace Your Inner Wisdom

Are all these thoughts necessary?

Absolutely not!  Do you sometimes feel plagued or even harassed by the overwhelming number of thoughts that pass through your mind?  We each have 12,000 to 50,000 thoughts per day, many of them habitual, useless, and often harmful to our health and wellbeing.

All these superfluous thoughts not only clutter your mind, but they can actually add to ill health on a physical level too.  In Chinese medicine, thinking too much is considered to be injurious to the spleen-pancreas*, which directs the wellbeing of our basic digestive functions.  According to this viewpoint, we not only need to digest the food we eat, but also all our life experience and thoughts as well.  When you’re engaged in too much thinking, there’s less energy for proper digestive function. Sogyal Rinpoche explains how too much thinking can disturb mental and physical health:

“The trouble with us is we have over-indulged in thinking.  The result is mental, even physical, illness.  Many Tibetan doctors have remarked on the prevalence in the modern world of disorders due to disturbances to the prana or inner air, which are caused by too much agitation, worry, anxiety—and thinking—on top of the speed and aggression that dominate our lives.  What we truly need is just peace.  That is why we find that even to sit for a single moment, to breathe in and out and let the thoughts and emotions quietly settle, can make such a wonderful break.”

As Rinpoche suggests, the best way to reduce all the clutter of mind is to learn basic meditation.  Through meditation, you can learn to bring you mind home, relax, and release all the stress, tension, and hassle.  Meditation is not just for monks or yogis who live in caves.  It is a powerful means for reconnecting with and rediscovering your true self and it is incredibly helpful in our busy modern world.

Imagine feeling completely well in yourself—relaxed yet alert.  Any anger, aggression, or negativity has naturally dissolved.  Mind reveals its innate sharpness and clarity and is able to easily see to the heart of the matter.  You feel a sense of peace and a greater sense of connection to yourself and others.  All the boundaries seem to dissolve and you find yourself relating to life directly just as it comes without fear or aversion.  You are learning to just be instead of being constantly preoccupied.  Thoughts and emotions  and even moods come and go, you neither suppress nor indulge in them.  They are no longer the boss in your world, you are now in charge. There’s more humor and enjoyment in life.  At the same time, your heart has softened and there’s more tenderness, acceptance, empathy, and compassion.

A simple practice of meditation can transform your mind and your life in just this very way.  Anyone can to learn to meditate, even you!  Treat yourself to a taste of meditation.

Stay tuned for more articles on meditation.

*In Chinese medicine, the spleen-pancreas relates to the function of the pancreas, not the functions of the spleen as understood in Western medicine.

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  1. We have become mega brains. We all love to think, solve, study, consider and predict in our minds. Constantly. Everyday think,think,think. Thus there is no way for inspiration or calm enjoyment because the mind is always active. We average 50,000 thoughts per day – we surely don’t require all of them. So to truly switch off we need to switch off too: our phones and devices and our obessional desire to think about everything. Find what stills your mind and stick to it. It’s where true freedom is found.

    • Well said, John! Thanks for commenting. I appreciate hearing your thoughts on the topic.

  2. Sigh, are they really necessary? Of course not.If only my brain would cooperate more with common sense. Recent years have been better but I still think way too much (and not necessary stuff either like da Vinci or Einstein ;))! I love the philosophy of digesting our own thoughts. Thanks Sandra, a new reason yet to think less of these heavy-weighing thoughts.

    • Farnoosh, I’m quite sure that your new habit of meditation will help gradually help to calm your mind even more. Calming the mind is simply the first step in meditation. It also helps to know that thoughts are not the enemy. The are transitory like clouds passing by in the sky. The key is to let them go by, to neither indulge nor suppress them. I know, easier said than done!

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