“We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world”
– The Buddha
To continue with my series on mindfulness, I want to talk today about thoughts. What if I told you that you are not your thoughts? Most of us are so habitually tied to what is going on in our heads, that the idea that there is a separation between what we think and who we are sounds crazy. As you spend time observing your mind, you start to notice that your mind can produce some really weird stuff from out of nowhere. If a mime stubs his toe, does he make a sound? I really should get that report done for my boss, but flamingos are only pink because of the shrimp they eat. Our minds are designed to produce thoughts in much the same way that our stomachs are designed to produce acid and along the same lines if it were to stop, we’d probably be in trouble. The trick in all this is not to get too hung up on what the mind produces. With practice, we can see things such as angry, frustration, and sadness arise, but not get swept up in the tidal wave of emotion. Imagine how nice it would be to get cut off in traffic and stop the anger before it ruins the day.