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Thought Management - Thought Management: Knowing your Thoughts PDF Print E-mail
Meditation - Techniques
Article Index
Thought Management
Thought Management: Knowing your Thoughts
Thought Management: Managing your Thoughts
Exercises
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Thought Management: Knowing your Thoughts

Meditation and thoughts are interrelated. Most of us, as we are, are identified closely to our mind. Mind is the source of our thoughts. Our discussion of thought management here also applies to mind management. I feel that managing our thoughts also manages our minds.

  1. Mind is always working

  2. What are you thinking? What channels you are tuned to?

  3. Consuming thoughts

  4. Addictive thoughts

  5. Urgency of thought output

1. Mind is always working
Just imagine that you had to work 24 hours a day; seven days a week, 365 days a year. There is no rest. There is no vacation. There is no sleep. It is not possible. You and I will go crazy. The body will revolt.

Yet, in case of our mind that is exactly what is happening. Osho has suggested that we call mind Minding. It is at work all the time. Thoughts keep transiting the mind all the time. They take the form of dreams when we sleep. There is no rest. There is no sleep for the mind. Yet, we do not always go insane. And it is no wonder that some of us do go astray.

I was invited by a friend of mine. Both I and my wife were at his house for chit-chat and dinner. He is a gastroenterologist and his wife is a psychiatrist. We got into a discussion of mind among many other things. My friend said, “my mind is always busy. Even when I am looking calm and composed my mind is working at full speed. I am always looking into all the ramifications of any of my decisions. I am constantly living in fear that something is going to happen to me. I have always had to work for anything I have achieved. Luck does not seem to come to me.” This is a family that is successful as we know what success should be. He has a wonderful family and he is a wonderful person himself. Does this sound familiar? Does your mind work overtime? The thoughts may be different. But, do you keep thinking all the time.

This is not a new problem. It is not just a problem of our times. Arjuna raises this question 5000 years ago to Krishna in Gita:

Chnchalam hi manah Krishna, pramathi balawaadriham
Tasyaham nigraham manye, vayorivasudushkaram

Hey Krishna, the mind is very unsteady, turbulent, tenacious and powerful; I consider it as difficult to control as controlling the wind. //6:34//

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2. What are you thinking? What channels you are tuned to?
We believe that thoughts that transit our minds are our thoughts. Many of us truly believe in this theory. However, if you are an Indian, you may have one way of thinking. If you happen to be same Indian brought up in USA, you may have a different way of thinking. Arranged marriage may be okay if you live in India but it is a no-no if you live in the USA. Having a girl friend was unthinkable when I grew up in Patna in the 70s. I was in Delhi recently and many young boys and girls openly talked abut boyfriend and girl friend last month.

These are what we call our thoughts. These thoughts appear to be different depending upon when, where and what surrounding you live in.

The point I am trying to make is that the relationship between thoughts and ‘I” is not as close as we think they are.You must have watched television at home.. There are hundreds of channels. You can tune into news channel i. CNN watch democratic campaign 2008 debates between Senator Hilary Clinton and Senator Barrak Obama. You could as well go to sports channel or if you subscribe to Asian channels, watch Z-TV for an Indian movie. Even if I subscribe to 100 channels, do I watch all of them all the time?

The reason I am bringing TV channels into discussion here should be obvious by now. Our mind is like a TV station. We may not realize it. It is worth taking a deeper look into our minds. We had a medical association meeting in Bar Harbor. I and my wife Lekha visited Brian and his wife for an afternoon tea. We were again discussing about our thought process. Brian’s wife left the group to go to her room. It was not clear what the reason was for her to leave. Brian mentioned that he could think in two different ways. She might have something important for which she had to go. This give reassurance to Brian’s mind and he can stay cool and undisturbed. The other reason could be that she did not like our company and she left to avoid us. This thought process could be disturbing to Brian’s mind. The idea is to explain any event such that the mind stays undisturbed. I am not saying that this is correct or right approach. The point here is that there could be different channels of thinking. What Brian thinks depends upon which channel he is tuned into at that moment in time.

What channel we turn to depends upon what kind of person we are. What kind of person we are depends upon what kind of person we train ourselves to become. A true change of a transformational nature in my thinking only happens from meditation. We will get to at a later date. We ought to find out what channels we tune into most of the time. Let us focus on two kind of channels. First group of channels is negative channels and second group of channels is positive channels. Does your kind allows more negative thoughts to come in your mind or does it not.

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3. Consuming thoughts
Some thoughts appear to stay with us and almost consume most of our time in a day. Sometimes they last for weeks and months.. They do not give a break. They keep going in circles. You go to work and your boss says something derogatory. How dare he? What does he think of himself? I have to do something about it. These thoughts can consume the whole individual existence. The sleep is disturbed. Nothing else matters. Does it sound familiar? Some one dear to you dies. The same thing happens. How do you deal with consuming thoughts? These are hard ones to deal with. The exercises below help you deal with these consuming thoughts effectively. The situation does not go away, but you can get a break and get a life while these consuming thoughts go in the background.

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4. Addictive thoughts
Addictive thoughts are a little different compared to consuming thoughts. They are not there all the time. There may be an undercurrent but it is subtle and only appreciated when the first portion of exercise goes deep. They are not there all the time but when they come, watch out. The come so strong that you are not able to control them. You want to smoke a cigarette. It is a benign thought. You smoke one and it is over. You want to smoke another cigarette. Again you smoke and it is gone. You want to quit smoking. There is no problem. The thought of no smoking comes and you make a promise. It is all fine. Then the thought of smoking comes and your no-smoke-promise goes to sleep. It is interesting that conflicting thoughts can stay side by side in addictive thoughts. The same is true with alcohol addition or pornographic addictions. You keep addictive thoughts and wish to get rid of the addiction side by side. These are the hardest thoughts to recognize and deal with.. Yet, with practice it is possible to get there.

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5. Urgency of thought output
You can find out what channels you tune into. This is possible by watching your thoughts. You can tell if you tune in to negative channels majority of times or do you tune into some positive channels at certain times. You also have to pay attention to what kind of processing goes on when you watch these channels. Once the processing is done, what is the mode of out put of your thoughts? Do you suffer from urgency of thoughts output. I am a urologist. I see many patients who have urinary urgency. This is common problem in women. When they have to go they have to go. Crossing legs may help, but, not for long. Some may leak while trying to hold. It is also common in men with enlargement of prostate.

It is hard to believe that this can be a problem with thoughts. I do this simple exercise to see how common this problem is. It is always difficult urgency of thought output for you. It happens without warning or recognition. So, it always helps to watch others. You can see in any party. All you ought to do is observe. Try to separate yourself for a little time from the discussions and just watch. Conversation is going on. Mr. A is saying something. Mr. B tries to respond. Mr. C can’t wait. He has to make his point. He intervenes not even knowing or acknowledging that Mr. B had already started. Mr. C gets interrupted because Mr. B had urgency of thought output. He could not hold.

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