Most people today – including myself – seem to have an obsessive-compulsive thinking disorder. We are obsessed about thinking, we take the thoughts seriously, and we allow them to cloud over our natural spaciousness, clarity and sense of connection with all of Existence.
When we are in this pattern, we put drama and confusion on top of our life. We spend energy trying to create and hold onto a sense of separate and (relatively) fixed identity, in conflict with what we naturally experience ourselves as – space and awareness, pure capacity for any experience. From trying to hold onto this separate identity, we experience separation, which in turn brings up many forms of dis-ease and suffering.
But another way of relating to thoughts – and life – is possible. In fact, when we taste it – it reveals itself as far easier, simpler and more attractive than this pattern.
When I recognize myself as space & awareness, I see that there is no separation between me and all phenomena. I am whatever arises in the present. And although I can clearly differentiate and discern, this is all a fluid seamless whole.
What arises within the small self (sensations, emotions, thoughts) and what arises outside of the small self (trees, clouds, galaxies, other beings) is a rich fluid tapestry. And the thoughts, arising one at a time, is just one strand in this infinite tapestry. They are no longer something to become exclusively identified with, no longer something to be caught up in. They just come and go, as guests, along with all other phenomena. And they are such an infinitely small part of the whole rich tapestry, as it manifests in always new and fresh ways.
Now, thoughts become a very useful tool for exploration, clarification and communication. And I see them as what they are, just thoughts – abstractions, just tools of temporary value and limited (although important) application.
Instead of me being a tool for the thoughts, they are now a tool for me.