are the tension.” The first time I read Ramesh’s words they struck me like a
sledge-hammer. Immediately I knew he was right. It isn’t that I had not
experienced stressful thoughts before. But, I had never before recognized that
ALL tension is the result of thoughts.
had always been something I did in spurts. I would suddenly be filled with
Bhakti and for weeks would devote myself to ritual and meditation. Then I would
go a month or so with nothing. Although meditation served to calm my mind and
bring a deep sense of wellbeing, I didn’t relate to meditation as a daily
practice. When I tried to implement that it felt contrived.
I read Ramesh’s words there rose up in me an urgency to understand why thoughts
persist and to understand the nature of mind; my mind in particular. In and of
itself this exploration became my meditation, engaging my focus almost every
this process I invented various exercises for myself. Probably they are not
unique to me, but there is one I would like to share with you here, just in
case you have never tried it for yourself.
following exercise will be somewhat demanding. It will require tremendous
attention and alertness towards your thoughts, words and actions….and a strong
dose of self-honesty.
exercise requires a pen and pocket notepad. Preferably avoid using a mechanical
device for this.
duration of this exercise is an entire day, beginning when you wake up to when
you go to bed. Using a symbol of your choosing, note down every single time you
make an assumption.
At the end of the day tally your
symbols and, in your notepad, write down your experience of the day. Next
morning, read through your account and see if there is anything you can add.
Note: Beware of assuming an
outcome! You might be surprised.