10 December 2014

Thoughts

Thoughts crowd in. It's as if we can never escape from them. They are our constant companions, oftentimes our inescapable tormentors. Even as we sleep we are thinking for the brain has its processing work to do - work that will sometimes linger as half-remembered dreams that slip away as each new day begins. If  all of the thoughts you have ever had were linked together like a Christmas paper chain, it would reach beyond the furthest edge of our universe.

Sometimes our private thoughts appear to retreat. When we are totally immersed in an entertainment. When were are enjoying a good book. When we are blind drunk or under the influence of recreational drugs. When we are playing sport with enthusiasm. When we are in the throes of passion - what the French call "le petit mort". The little death when thoughts disappear as in "le grand mort" - the big death that lasts forever.

But most of the time our thoughts are like the parrot that sits permanently on the pirate's shoulder, squawking away incessantly. "Pieces of eight! Pieces of eight!" Sometimes I'd like to grab that damned parrot and throttle it - "Leave me be! Give me some space you overgrown budgie!"

Our thoughts seem to switch fluidly from remembering distant events to very recent events. We speculate about the future. We make plans. We review what we have said or done. We review what other human beings have said or done. We consider world events. We worry about friends and families. Random images and scenes flash upon the screens in our minds and snatches of conversations seem to echo in the hallways. We fantasise. We laugh inwardly at absurdities and smile in recollection of the good things that have happened. On and on. So much thinking.

Yes. Thoughts crowd in upon us. Perhaps true Buddhist monks have got it right. In quiet meditation, washing away all private thought. Finding serenity. Seeking oneness with Nature. No longer beholden to these endless thoughts. Now excuse me while I go out to find some saffron robes and get my head shaved. But I won't be able to sit cross legged for hours like this fellow...

14 comments:

  1. I would love to know how to do that - clear your mind of all thought. Like when you wake up in the middle of the night and you just know if you get to thinking about "stuff" especially family "stuff" you are never going to get back to sleep.

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    1. I hate waking up in the middle of the night and with my spouse slumbering beside me I can't even put on the radio to drive out private thoughts. Fortunately, this doesn't happen often.

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  2. This is interesting. I usually leave a problem and sleep on it. If I'm over half way to solving it then when I wake up, I have the first espresso and Marlboro; before my porridge is cooked I know the solution. It works more often than not.
    You have hit upon a whole new lifestyle. It is problem solving nirvana. You could be on TV and a multi-millionaire. Perhaps not you would have to live in America and screw nubile eighteen year olds, they have so many silly religions and cults there that it may be a problem finding a slot. Life is not clear cut or easy.
    PS. Did I spell cults correctly?

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    1. Yes Adrian "cults" did not need an "n" in it. You have inspired me sir. This could be the beginning of Puddingism and you Saint Adrian will be my first disciple. You will be the patron saint of camper vans and handle my travelling and hotel expenses.

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  3. I do believe we need to manage our thoughts rather than let our thoughts manage us. Mindfulness "meditations" seem to be the rage here ~ and I am sure it takes practice to master the art of quietening those rampant thoughts. But I would have thought your rambling would go a long way to clearing your mind YP.

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    1. Walking and indeed any exercise can suppress normal thought processes but when I am walking certain types of thought will accompany the rhythm of my plodding. I often make up songs."Oh! Carol, I am but a fool..."

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  4. I couldn't even begin to think about sitting cross-legged like that fellow these days. Even if I could I'd forever remain in that position...and that's not a good thought!

    Thoughts...I'm glad we have them...or at least that some us do, and that I am one of those that do.

    There are far too many people running around who should have a vacant sign flashing across their foreheads....just a thought.

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    1. if I was sitting cross-legged like that my head would be filled with thoughts like "Will I ever get up again?" and "Oh Christ my hips are hurting like hell!"

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  5. I have a recording of the Maha Mrityunjaya mantra on my iPhone. It is 4 lines...11 words (but long ones, in Sanskrit). It took me well over a month to memorize. You're supposed to chant the mantra 40 times in succession for health and well being. I usually fall asleep 35 times short of the goal. I think that's because there's not much left in my elderly brain, nothing to clear.

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    1. Elderly brain? Whaddya mean you young filly! I'm going to start chanting "Begone tormenting thoughts!" until I end up like a mindless zombie.

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  6. A friend of mine regularly meditates for HOURS. He even takes meditation holidays at an institution who offer some guidance for beginners but leave you to your own devices as much as you want. He says it helps him to feel balanced. I'd be... hmm, don't know. Bored, maybe? Restless?
    Most of the time, I like the whirl of thoughts in my head. Occasionally, they are unwelcome, and I struggle with feelings of guilt and remorse about things I can not change but hope to do better in the future.
    Some years ago, I wrote about how it feels for me a lot of the time:
    http://librarianwithsecrets.blogspot.de/2009/04/brewing-caleidoscope.html

    As for sitting cross-legged - it's all a question of practice.

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    1. I went to the link and appreciated your kaleidoscope metaphor.
      As for sitting cross legged. It's something I could do in years gone by but then I didn't sit cross legged for years and now it almost seems impossible. My hips hurt when I do that.

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  7. Interesting.

    Just nipping over for a look from the "Fuckwit in a Van"'s blog.

    Can't recall if I've looked in here before.

    You are rather an articulate young man considering your profile image, and rather a traditional dresser too.

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  8. On the rare (nowadays) occasions that a though plagues me I am thankful for my butterfly mind which rarely stays with the same thought for more than a few minutes; often seconds.

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