15 June 2009

The Good Mother...thinking about my thinking

I think...therefore I am.


Because here's what I've been thinking for the last few days:

"What if I'm not good enough?"..."Maybe I'm not good enough."

These are not the thoughts that I want to be if I am indeed who I am because of my thinking!

Like some tiny, vicious winged insects that keep buzzing around my head and that I keep shooing away...they just keep coming back.

Over and over and over again.

Buzz buzz buzz...

Gil Fronsdal, Buddhist Vipassana teacher at the Insight Meditation Center in Redwood, CA, had the following to say about thinking and repetitive thoughts in a wonderful talk entitled "The Mindfulness of Thinking":

It's amazing...it's awesome...it's awful how repetitive our thinking can be - at least mine can be. Probably some of you also. You can think the same thing 3 or 4 times, right? 10 or 20 times? 50 or 100 times? 500 times? With slight variations [each time]...just thinking over and over and over again. If someone walked next to us and talked to us as incessantly and repetitively as we talk to ourselves, we would think they were crazy. We would probably want them institutionalized...please!...we'd bribe them to be quiet. Anything!

He continues:

The world of thinking [is] really marvelous and wonderful and something to be marveled at and it's also something awful. It's something frightening. It's amazing the amount of suffering and damage that can come through the world of our thinking. So an important part of any spiritual life and certainly in a mindful life is to have some handle on the whole domain of thinking - the world of our thinking.

A good percentage of our suffering can be traced back to our thinking... for some people thinking becomes the medium through which the channels of suffering get expressed or get actualized or get felt. So if we want to become free from our suffering or get a handle on our suffering it helps a lot if we can get a handle on our thinking. And so it takes some time to look at our thoughts to understand what's happening there. The advantage of it - of learning about our thinking - is that then also we can appreciate when our thinking is not causing our suffering, but instead adds to the richness of our life.

From another Gil Fronsdal Dharma talk on "The Mindfulness of Thinking":

Many people don't realize how caught they are in the world of their thoughts...We might not even see that there is a problem or an issue...But then there can be this moment when there is a shift in the mind and the mind separates itself from being so closely tied or velcroed to our thinking. There's a kind of pulling away - a separation - and you say, "Ohhhh...there's thinking that's going on." There's a very clear recognition - "There is thinking."...To step back and realize "Oh, I am thinking" ... with the right kind of perspective - it can lead to a sense of freedom or a sense of ease or a sense of, "Wow, I'm not so caught in that world."

So apparently the annoying vicious little doubt-filled thoughts buzzing around in my mind are just one small part of the wonderful, marvelous, awful and sometimes frightening world of my thinking.

Buzz buzz buzz...

And it would seem that because I've allowed myself to get caught by these horrible thoughts about doubting my ability to be a mother -

"What if I'm not good enough?"

"Maybe I'm not good enough"

- I am causing my own suffering!

So, perhaps
  • by "getting a handle on my thinking,"
  • by not allowing myself to get so caught up in the world of my thinking,
  • by taking a step back from thinking, and recognizing and identifying "Ohhh. This is just thinking"
  • and by recognizing that I am not my thoughts...
then I can free myself from my self-induced, thought-caused suffering.

Or am I just thinking about this way too much?

1 comment:

  1. Dogen Zenji: "Not one thought deserves a second thought." That being so, be kind to yourself.