How to Observe your Thoughts in Mindfulness?
Even it might look too easy to observe your thoughts. In reality, is it so easy? In fact, it is absolutely dependent on the ability of the Mind. Some people can observe movement of thoughts properly & some are little due to ability of their Mind. Let’s move, how to observe your Thoughts in Mindfulness?
Before step in detail, why not have a look at the key abilities of Mindfulness in brief. The Key abilities are Awareness, Ability to be in the Present Moment & Non-Judgement of Thoughts.
- In Mindfulness, the Mind is totally Aware of its movement. As being a natural creation, the Mind has the ability to wander here & there at any moment. The Mind can go to the Past or in the Future or in the Present Moment. The average Mind, for most of the time, the Mind is not aware of its movement. But, the Mind has inherent power to be aware itself in case it is trained up or cultivated. Once the Mind is trained up or cultivated, it can remain in awareness and always be aware of its movement.
- Due to Mindfulness remain or alive in the Mind, the Mind has the ability also to bring back itself in the Present Moment when noticed that it’s not in the Past or in the Future. That means, the Mind can bring its movement to the Present Moment by itself while it become aware.
- The Mind also has the ability to be away from Non-Judgement of Thoughts due to Mindfulness. Once any thought arise in the Mind, the Mind only observe without any Judgement. The Mind only observe thoughts without getting involvement of activity over the thoughts.
Based above understanding of the ability of the Mind in Mindfulness, let’s move to further step how to observe thoughts in Mindfulness.
Be Aware of Movement of the Mind:
No doubt that the Mind can wander at any place at any moment and also in the Past or in the Future or in the Present Moment. This is very natural behavior of the Mind. In fact, the Mind designed to act such a way. So, movement of the Mind is natural, and you have to accept this natural functions of the Mind too. You can’t avoid or no one can do also.
But, the Mind has the ability to be Aware of its movement due to Mindfulness. That means, the Mind is totally aware of its movement or wandering activities in all times. Such awareness can be applied to observe the movement of the Mind or Mind wandering.
The Mind is creating thoughts, thoughts are disappearing, the Mind is moving in memory, creating imaginary situation, etc., all are under observation as the Mind has gained such ability in Mindfulness. So, movement of the Mind to be aware by the Mind itself in the Present Moment.
As the Mind is in awareness, it can easily notice it movement and also be able to notice or understand that the Mind is not in the Present Moment in case it has shifted from the moment.
Once awareness remains in the Mind, the Mind is in the track of movement or wandering activities. This moment to moment awareness can help the Mind to be keep its focus in the Present Moment like what thoughts are arising, what thoughts are disappearing, what feels, or mental phenomena are occurring in the Mind.
This moment to moment awareness will be in the processing of observation of thoughts in the Mind and such observation also to be done by the Mind too. Let’s move to the next step.
Observe when Thoughts arising in the Mind:
The Mind is aware of its movement in Mindfulness. In fact, the Mind is also aware of what is happening int he minds at this moment or what is going in the Mind or surroundings too. That means the Mind is also aware that thoughts are arising.
Due to Mindfulness, the Mind is aware at this moment. As thoughts are arising in the Present Moment, the Mind is aware that thoughts are arising. As Mindfulness is there, that means the Mind has ability also to bring back its movement in the Present. Isn’t it?
So, the Mind is aware that thought is arising. The Mind observe the thought. In’t it. Once the Mind starts to observe though is arising, the Mind is also aware of the movement of such thought too. Right?
In that case, the Mind is paying close observation of thought arising, movement of thought also. All these are under awareness & under ability to observation due to Mindfulness. Only be aware & only be observed.
Once thoughts are under observation due to awareness, thoughts starts to lose its momentum. The Mind is also aware that thoughts are losing its momentum. The Mind only acts in awareness & getting itself also be in the function of observation.
Of course, the Mind is away from any judgement of any thoughts. Only aware & observe thoughts.
No doubt, the Mind can always wander at any time while being aware of any thought or being involved in observation, it’s okay. Let the Mind be function in its own natural rhythm. The Mind is in fact aware of movement. The Mind also ability to notice that it is not in the Present. Once the Mind noticed that it is not in the Present, the Mind has the ability to be back to the Present Moment due to Mindfulness. All these functions are natural.
Observe how thoughts disappear in the Mind:
Of course, thoughts arise in the Mind and thoughts disappear in the Mind too. That means, the Mind is creating thoughts are ceasing the thoughts also. So, thoughts are nothing but the creation of the Mind. Isn’t it?
As the thoughts arise, thoughts also disappears. This is common phenomena. Isn’t it?
Lets move to observe how thoughts disappear.
This is very common understanding that thoughts never goes outside the Mind. Thoughts are created in the Mind and thoughts are disappears in the Mind also. You are aware & have understanding about this normal activities of thoughts also.
As you have already known or understand how thoughts arise in the Mind, now is being aware of movement of thoughts. Are they disappearing, or are they remaining in the Mind?
Now, only observe how thoughts are disappearing. You know well that thoughts are not going outside at all. They are disappearing in the Mind from where they were created. This is like waves in the river. All the waves creates in the water of river and also flow or move away in the river too.
Only, be aware of movement from arising to disappearing of thoughts without getting involvement or engagement of judgement. Only observation of disappearance, what you did while thoughts arisen.
If you carefully observe, you can find that no thought last long duration. Once arise any thought, it moves to disappear. All thoughts are momentary. All thoughts are like coming and going through a passage. The Mind is the passage of thoughts arising & disappearing. In fact, life duration of thoughts is too little to figure out. Have you noticed this?
In the first step, you have observed the arisen of thoughts. In this phase, you are observing how thoughts disappear. All this observation functions, the Mind is not engaging itself to observe such thoughts without any judgement. As no engagement or no judgement of the thoughts, all thoughts are losing their natural momentum. That means, the Mind is aware of movement of thoughts without judgement, thoughts are not putting and impression in the Mind. The Mind naturally lose any interest over thoughts to carry on.
As the Mind is totally aware from the creation & cessation of thoughts, the Mind understand that its nothing but observation without any engagement or judgement. SO, the Mind, naturally slow down creation of thoughts. That means, thoughts starts to get reduced.
Observe your Mind in between two thoughts:
One thought to another thought is like one point t to another point. That means there is a gap in between two thoughts, like one point to another point. Are you aware of such gap?
As observation made arising of thoughts and also disappearing of thoughts, what about in between two thoughts? Should it not be observed also?
Of course, moment to moment remain in awareness in Mindfulness, such gap or space in between two thoughts will not be out of observation. If so, what to observe in between two thoughts?
Aware of the thought how it is moving. How long it is lasting in the Mind. Only, be aware and observe without engagement or judgement. Yes, in Mindfulness, the Mind has the ability to be in awareness and also to observe without judgement.
Once you observe one thought to another thought, you can find duration is like a blink of eyes. Even such duration is difficult to figure out in time, yet, this duration or gap in between two thoughts to be observed. Even tiny duration in between two thoughts, you are totally observing arising of a thought, its movement and also cessation or disappearance of this thought. That means total movement of thought is being observed. No slippage in occurring.
You can understand that all thoughts are absolutely momentary. They are appearing & disappearing so fast, and It is hard to focus or observe also due to the momentary nature of each thought. Yes, a lesson you can get from such momentary life span of thoughts,
All thoughts are Impermanence. This is the true nature of thought.
If thoughts are impermanent, is it really so important to get attached to such thoughts? Why not you keep observation of your thoughts & ask yourself too?
What feelings or emotion arising in the Mind due to thoughts?
Any feelings or emotion or mental phenomena are arising due to thoughts which you are observing will also be in the part of observation of thoughts. It is total awareness of thoughts from the arising point to post disappearing.
Any impression is remaining in the Mind by thoughts? What feelings or emotion is appearing in the Mind also. Only observe without any engagement or judgement. Only be aware and observe a total movement of thought.
As the total movement of thoughts are under full observation without any engagement or judgement, the Mind is actively aware and understand that all thoughts are momentary. If no engagement or judgement, all thoughts are only moving through the passage of the Mind. They are only arising & disappearing.
Once the Mind absolutely aware & understand that each & every thought is nothing but a momentary and never last long, the Mind finds no interest at all. Since the Mind is losing interest about thoughts more & more, gradually & naturally, start to slow down creation of thoughts.
As a result, you can find that spa in between two thoughts are getting much wider than before. Due to increasing of gap, the Mind is getting more space. The wide Gap means the wide Space in the Mind. Such wide space is Silence. Silence means no engagement. No engagement means rest. The Mind is having ample to keep itself in the Silence of Rest. As a result, no distraction or too little distraction arise in the Mind.
Is it look surprising to you? It is better to find within yourself. Why try it by yourself?
Don’t Judge any thoughts in Mindfulness:
Due to Mindfulness, the Mind has the ability to keep itself away from any judgement of thought. why not judgement of thoughts?
If your Mind get attached to thoughts or react over thoughts or starts to judge thoughts, in fact, emotion or feelings or mental phenomena are also getting attached too in the Mind. Once starts to judge thoughts, the true nature of thoughts are not appearing in the Mind. That means, you are not understanding or getting true picture of thoughts.
In fact, in Mindfulness, the Mind has the ability to keep itself absolutely in neutral position. Once the Mind is in neutral position, that means, the Mind only observe without any engagement or judgement to any thoughts. As a result, the true nature of all thoughts appears in the Mind without any change or alteration. In that case, the Mind can find the true nature of thoughts due to its ability in Mindfulness.
No doubt that the Mind naturally moves or wanders from thoughts to thoughts. Resisting or forcing or reacting or judging forces to alter or change the true nature of reality. As being in Mindfulness, the Mind is aware in the Present Moment. Being in the Present Moment, the Mind is totally aware of thoughts from arising to disappearing, i.e. total movement of thoughts without any judgement. As a result, the Mind can understand the true nature of thoughts clearly.
Keeping total Focus over the Mind from the creation to cessation or disappearance, the Mind can understand the momentary nature of thoughts. All these functions of observing without judgement are occurring in the Mind itself due to Mindfulness.