Have you noticed how restless the mind can be? Chatter, chatter, chatter… Why does thought, endlessly, chatter? Why does the mind do this? Have you wondered why this is? Are you interested?
Thought is made up of fragments; pieces of this and that. We know this as a fact. Have you watched as thought jumps from one idea to the next- it thinks about one thing then moves onto something else and once again onto another idea. Thought is the accumulation of knowledge as information and experience. This is the same for all of us. The fragments may contain different content but essentially this movement of thought is the same; this chatter is our whole accumulated knowledge.
Thought is subjectively pieced together as memories- another universal experience to us all. This movement of memory is what we know as ‘thinking’ and it is this constant, habitual, mostly unnecessary, energy-wasting movement of memory which is also ‘our chatter.’
Memories of the past are shaped and changed this way and that way in our thinking in order to invent or predict an event or happening of the future in our imagination giving us a sense of control over these happenings. Many a times we start sentences with phrases like ‘if…’ ‘I wish…’ or ‘I should… I must… I can’t…Why don’t you…’ which signal directly to this psychological movement of time. This is also where much of our inner conflict arises as one particular fragment of thought is filtering, censoring and judging all other thought. This one fragment of thought is the ‘me’ thought. And it is this thought which is the ‘chatterer.’
If you spend a whole day simply noticing the thoughts that arise, become aware of this chatter as explaining, analysing, reporting, judging, condemning, justifying, rationalising all that you see around you and maybe you will catch that glimpse of this chatterer as the one thought that analyses, judges, explains, rationalises, condemns and reports on all that has happened.
The analyser, judge, explainer, condemner, and reporter is thought as ‘me.’ This is why we live in a world of our own. This is ‘self’ centred thinking. All this chatter is about ‘me, me, me.’ About my body, my work, my partner, my children, my country, my belief, my culture, my religion, my money, my idea, my possessions, my pain, my desires, my suffering, my pleasures, my fears, my dreams. This constant chatter about ‘me’ in ‘my world’ causes conflict, as ‘my world’ clashes with others’ ‘my world,’ it isolates and separates us as we build walls to protect the ‘me’ thought, and ultimately it leaves us unconnected to others, nature and life.
When one observes the mind that chatters, that projects ideas, that lives in contradiction, conflict and comparison, it must observe choicelessly. Have you sat on a bus and just watched the world happen? Have sat in an airport and merely watched all the people? Have you taken a walk alone in silence? Have you watched a baby interact with toys? If you have sat and observed without any thinking, just merely watching then this means that observation can take place without judging, condemning, justifying, explaining and analysing. Can you observe yourself, and thought in this same way?
Can you be choicelessly attentive to the feelings that arise as you go about your day? Can you choicelessly observe the thoughts that arise as you interact with others? Can you be choicelessly aware of all that is happening around you? Can you?
If you give your whole self to this exercise for just one day, completely live choicelessly for one day you will discover for yourself what it means to live free of conflict, contradiction and comparison. You will discover for yourself what it means to be connected to others, to nature and to life itself. You will discover for yourself what it means to live without fear.