Eckhart Tolle - How To Take Control Of Our Thoughts! - Watching The Thinker
By Tom Hasker, Associate Partner, Lighthouse International
As we've explored in numerous legends reports there is a need to make sure that we keep our minds free of unnecessary thoughts in order to focus on what is most important. In my previous post we explored how Eckhart Tolle advises us to quieten the "voices in our head". That way we can decide what we need to do and what we need to focus on in order to make sure we are building the life we want. Being able to free ourselves from the mind is the key to enabling ourselves to live in the present moment and enjoy the life that we have.
In this extract from the book - The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle describes how to 'Free yourself from your mind' - by describing how you can 'watch the thinker' as he puts it;
What exactly do you mean by "watching the thinker"?
When someone goes to the doctor and says, "I hear a voice in my head," he or she will most likely be sent to a psychiatrist. The fact is that, in a very similar way, virtually everyone hears a voice, or several voices, in their head all the time: the involuntary thought processes that you don't realize you have the power to stop. Continuous monologues or dialogues.
You have probably come across "mad" people in the street incessantly talking or muttering to themselves. Well, that's not much different from what you and all other "normal" people do, except that you don't do it out loud. The voice comments, speculates, judges, compares, complains, likes, dislikes, and so on. The voice isn't necessarily relevant to the situation you find yourself in at the time; it may be reviving the recent or distant past or rehearsing or imagining possible future situations. Here it often imagines things going wrong and negative outcomes; this is called worry. Sometimes this soundtrack is accompanied by visual images or "mental movies".
Even if the voice is relevant to the situation at hand, it will interpret it in terms of the past. This is because the voice belongs to your conditioned mind, which is the result of all your past history as well as of the collective cultural mind-set you inherited. So you see and judge the present through the eyes of the past and get a totally distorted view of it. It is not uncommon for the voice to be a person's own worst enemy. Many people live with a tormentor in their head that continuously attacks and punishes them and drains them of vital energy. It is the cause of untold misery and unhappiness, as well as of disease.
The good news is that you can free yourself from your mind. This is the only true liberation. You can take the first step right now. Start listening to the voice in your head as often as you can. Pay particular attention to any repetitive thought patterns, those old gramophone records that have been playing in your head perhaps for many years. This is what I mean by "watching the thinker," which is another way of saying: listen to the voice in your head, be there as the witnessing presence.
This sounds very easy to do in theory! We can read a book like this and here is the solution to all our stresses and problems! But it takes patience and practice to do it. As Eckhart Tolle says here, the first thing is to watch and become aware of the thoughts that the mind is thinking all the time, and from there begin to separate ourselves from those old, boring, repetitive thought patterns. Then to consciously choose the emotions we do want to feel. Another powerful practice for this is to take deliberate conscious breaths as described in this article...
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