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It’s so easy to get lost in thought.
It’s what the mind does best—generate thoughts, emotions, and beliefs. Then, the mind looks out at the world through these very thoughts/emotions/words/beliefs. The mind builds a matrix of words, a veil of language, that separates you from direct communion with life.
Words upon words thicken into the fog of thought.
No wonder it’s hard to walk harmoniously through life. It’s hard to navigate when your perceptual windshield is fogged with thought.
How to step out of the fog of thought?
The first step is accepting that regardless of how much it appears as though you’re perceiving life directly—you’re not. You’re seeing, sensing, experiencing life through the fog of thought.
Accepting this allows you to step back in consciousness and notice the thoughts/emotions as they arise and fog up your windshield. Which brings you to the next step.
Observing the movement of the fog.
The fog of your thoughts follows a pattern. Through mindful observation, you discern the repetitive pattern of your fog. You see how the same thoughts and emotions arise and dissolve away, arise and dissolve away. You discover the ways in which thoughts conflict with other thoughts.
You see how this pattern of inner conflict creates a cycle of struggle.
Through mindfulness you realize that the struggles you’ve been experiencing are like T.V. re-runs. It’s the same storyline, the same dynamic over and over. New actors may appear. But, the plot never changes.
You see how your life keeps cycling through an invariant sequence of struggle-release, struggle-release. And you choose to move beyond this cycle. This choice initiates you into the spiritual path.
What is the spiritual path?
The spiritual path is a mode of living, a way of life, of speaking and a way of thinking (yes, even thinking is part of the path) that moves you beyond the fog of thought/words/emotions into communication, communion, and union with life.
It’s a path of practice, learning, and revelation.
But, it starts with the first step—which is recognizing that you’re lost in thought, stumbling along in a fog of thoughts.
Author: Eric Klein
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Courtesy of Author