Watching the Mind

A Cure for Thinking?

watchingIt seems odd that you live with a constant stream of thoughts flowing through your head, yet rarely notice what they are saying and whether or not you believe them. Millions upon millions of thoughts flow through your mind. It is a shock to realize you give the thought-stream absolute authority over your whole life experience.

Mental Virus

When you do not examine your mind, it is as if you have a mental virus which fills you with a barrage of words and symbols and meanings that trigger emotions, which in turn flood through your body.

It may seem to be an exaggeration to say that thoughts are a potentially lethal disease, that believing them or not examining them, is hazardous to your health. A bit of observation will clearly reveal this as true.

Whether you notice what you are thinking, or just react to all the thoughts flowing from your mind, the medicine necessary to relieve the stress and suffering arising from your thoughts, begins with a willingness to take a step back, a willingness to observe them.

Try to stop them

stop thinkingHave you ever tried to stop your thoughts? Try now. Bear with me. Take a moment, close your eyes and tell your mind to stop thinking. Demand it obey you. How did you do? No way does it stop. You  do not control thought. Thinking is apparently an aspect of consciousness. As soon as you wake, thinking begins. Did you decide to think when you woke this morning? Hmm.

Notice That You Believe What You Think

When you first begin to watch your thoughts, it becomes more and more obvious that you are not what you think. It becomes clear that you certainly have thoughts, but they are not what you are. You are that which is watching them!

Observing the streaming mind gives you a chance to notice what is moving through your consciousness, rather than what you usually do, which is to believe and to react to them.

Such observation allows you enough of a pause to recognize that your thoughts are common and almost never unique. No matter the age, race, economic condition, your “I want….I need…I can’t…I should…I am…I have…,” reflect a universal litany.

angelNotice that you believe utterly in the thoughts you think. You believe they are uniquely yours. So certain are you that to stand back from thoughts, to examine them, never occurs to you. I would like to offer you the opportunity to realize how hypnotized you are to the belief in what you think. Then to realize that you can release a judgment, a memory, and a fear. When you do, freedom awaits. Often the babble you are listening to is absurd, exaggerated, or simply made up from supposition, from guessing how another is feeling.

Is there a cure?

Is there a cure? Yes! Observe your thoughts, all your thoughts; the good bad and the indifferent thoughts. Notice any and all that flow through the mind. Watching them is simply a matter of willingness and habit. Doing so changes the quality of your consciousness. Gradually it will dawn on you to ask, “Who or what is it that is observing the thoughts?”

The second part of the cure, the next thing to do, to is to extract yourself from being at the mercy of what you are watching. Examine and compare what you think you should and must experience, with what actually is and does happen. What is true? Do you really know all your assumptions to be true? Can you know what another is feeling and thinking? Under such calm observation, your attachment to your life events, even your history, changes dramatically.

Do thoughts have the power to keep you in fear, in anticipation, in dread? Do thoughts have such power or have you given them that power?  I invite you to watch them in order to reveal whether they do or do not. My telling you this will is not be the same as you having a personal experience. So I invite you to take your medicine. Take the prescription. Stand back from and observe your thoughts. It is the cure for all that ails you.

Clarity automatically unravels confusion

You will begin to feel better right away. You will become more and more self-honest. You will begin to be more and more comfortable with “what is” instead of being caught in the “what should.” You will begin to love “what is” for it sets you free.

Freeing yourself from your thoughts brings up a half forgotten feeling of a bubbling inner excitement. A joy begins to rise up within you. Such joy has nothing to do with any outer event. Truth brings freedom. Freedom from all your tragic “tales” about how your life was, is, should be – as well as how the events were and are right now.

Discover clarity

When you observe your thoughts and question their reality, the power you give them gradually, but consistently dissolves – as shadows do when illuminated by light.

What is left when you disengage from the thought stream you once allows to enslaved you? Try it and discover clarity for yourself.

cat watching

Peace to you.

About ellen

Ellen Sutherland shares her work through her sites:, and her book: "At Your Heart's Pace",
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