Think of a seed. It is like a point: small, tiny and compact, yet it holds all potential. A thought is like this. A thought is a seed. A seed that can be either positive or negative, depending on our mood, attitude and character. Thought creates feelings and attitudes. The combination of these is called consciousness. Human consciousness is the capacity to think, to reason, to feel and to express. All of this begins with just one thought.
Do we ever stop to observe our thoughts? Do we ever think of putting on the brakes, putting a full stop to our thoughts? Most of us allow them to scatter everywhere, wandering into every corner of our mind. Uncontrolled, scattered thoughts are like a speeding car: unless you brake, you’ll crash. An uncontrolled mind is tense, worried and stressed. This causes a lot of damage. We need to put the brakes if our minds are to work naturally. A natural mind is peaceful and a peaceful mind brings clarity. When we see things clearly there is no waste because we become mentally economical. The mind is not burdened with unnecessary thoughts. The biggest disease of the mind is over thinking, especially too much thinking about others: what they did, what they should do, what they should have done, what they said, what you wished they’d said, why they spoke at all. All of these rob the mind of its inherent serenity.
Thinking too much is like eating too much. The heaviness makes it impossible to remain light and flexible. We get stuck on little things and gradually, the little things become huge things which we cannot shake off. Often when we think too much, we fantasise and overact. Thus we create negative feelings.
It is far better to observe than to absorb every word, feeling and attitude, to get over-involved or react too much. Observing gives us the patience and the clarity to think and act appropriately. Observing creates an inner focus that allows us to see reality.
We are constantly being influenced by the words and opinions of others. To bring peace back into our minds we need to journey inward. This re-balances us and stops us from wasting energy. We learn to think before speaking and to observe before acting. Without doing this the extremes of thought, speech and action eventually create disorder, emotionally, mentally and physically. This disorder brings tiredness, stress, restlessness and fear.
If we do not control ourselves, other people will. We do not like this. We react. We complain. Our tempers may explode. Unless we learn to journey inside and master ourselves, the others will definitely master us.
A brake on the mind means a brake on the tongue. Our thoughts and our words are closely connected, for what we think will lead to what we say. Our words, positive or negative, do affect others. If our words are harsh or critical, people react, giving back in turn what they received. This ping pong game of words and emotions occurs daily and is exhausting. Some days it is more like kickboxing than ping-pong! As are our thoughts, so is our consciousness and as our consciousness, so is our life.
If we plant a positive, clean seed or thought and concentrate on it, we give it energy, like the sun gives to a seed in the earth. And as the seed in the earth awakens, stirs and begins to grow, the thoughts on which we concentrate awaken, stir and begin to grow. So let us sow positive thoughts.
Each morning before we begin the journey of our day, let us sit still, in silence, and sow the seed of peace. Peace is harmony and balance. Peace is freedom, freedom from the burden of negativity and wastefulness. Let peace find its home within us. Peace is our original strength, our eternal tranquility of being.
Let your first thought of the day simply be peaceful. Plant this seed. Water it with attention and you will gather the calm.
Discovering Spirituality, by Anthony Strano