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January 28, 2016

How Thoughts Turn into Struggle & What to do Instead.

Eric Klein's - do not re-use

It’s so easy to get lost in thought.

It’s what the mind does best—generate thoughts, emotions and beliefs.

And then the mind looks out at the world through these thoughts/emotions/words/beliefs and builds a matrix of words—a veil of language that separates us from direct communion with life.

Words upon words thicken into a fog of thought. No wonder it’s hard to walk harmoniously through life. It’s hard to navigate when our perceptual windshield is fogged with thought.

How can you free yourself from the fog of thought?

The first step is accepting that regardless of how much it appears that you’re perceiving life directly—you’re not. You’re seeing, sensing, experiencing life through the fog of thought.

Accepting this allows you to take a step back in consciousness, and notice thoughts as they arise and fog up your windshield. Rather than see the world through the fog of thought, you begin to observe the movement of the fog.

And when you do, you see something important.

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Your thoughts follows a pattern.

There’s a pattern—a repetitive pattern—to your fog. You see how the same thoughts and emotions arise and dissolve away, arise and dissolve away.

You observe thoughts conflicting with other thoughts. Thoughts wrestle with thoughts. Thoughts try to dominate, judge and control other thoughts.

You see how patterns of inner conflict generate a cycle of struggle.

Through mindfulness, you realize that the struggles you’ve been experiencing are more predictable than a TV re-run. It’s the same story-line, the same dynamic, over and over. New actors may appear but the plot never changes.

You see how your life keeps cycling through an unvarying sequence of struggle-release, struggle-release—all driven by thought. Just seeing this stops the cycle. Because when you see it, you’re not caught up in it.

Awareness is the liberating principle.

Don’t try to wrestle with the fog.

(That’s just more thought-fighting-thought patterning). See. Breathe. Fog naturally dissolves in the light of awareness. Take a step back in consciousness, right now and see.

What are you aware of now? Share below.

Love & Shanti,

E &D

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More from Eric:

What Solves Problems & What Doesn’t.

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Author: Eric Klein

Editor: Yoli Ramazzina

Images: original illustrations by the author.

 

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Eric Klein

Eric Klein is one of the few people on the planet to be both a bestselling leadership author and lineage holder in a 5,000 year old yoga tradition. His work translates the wisdom traditions into practices and principles for people who want to bring greater spirit, meaning, and authenticity to their work and lives. His award-winning books include You are the Leader You’ve Been Waiting For, Awakening Corporate Soul: Four Paths to Unleash the Power of People at Workand To Do or Not To Do: How Successful Leaders Make Better Decisions. His signature online program The Meditation Habit integrates neuroscience, behavior change technology, and spiritual practice. Learn more at his website.