How, Practically, To Respond To Unwanted Thoughts

The Subtle Art Of Non-Reactivity

Michael Papas
Mind Cafe

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Jerzy Górecki from Pixabay

Sometimes your mind feels not your own. Instead of a source of directed focus that absorbs what you need and helps you move forward, it can be like an unstimulated child, throwing the unwanted your way when you’re just trying to live life.

I’ve struggled with this somewhat the last while. When I work, I’m bombarded with anterior thoughts that drag me elsewhere. During conversations, I slip out of the present and into my head, where social analysis and self-judgment distract and detract.

Now, I’m no expert remedies for a chronically chattering mind, or for pathological difficulty with maintaining attention.

But what I have learned, over the last year or so, is that almost all of us carry around minds that are out of control. And for some reason, we’ve never learned how to tame them.

This is what the project of mindfulness is all about. It starts with an acknowledgment that you are not your thoughts. You aren’t the pieces of language that float through awareness. You aren’t the picture of the past spontaneously arising. Indeed, there is no “you”, no self to speak of. That’s a concept we made up, in myth after myth, to make sense of what we are and what the hell’s going on here.

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Michael Papas
Mind Cafe

Insights from neuroscience, non-dual mindfulness, and psychedelics to upgrade your awareness. For gigs or just to chat, get me at michaelpwriting@gmail.com.