Life Is Most Precious

Be Aware of Mental Pop-ups

“Not all thoughts deserve our thought” – ChaitanyaCharan Das.

The famous quote of my mentor may sound a little weird in the first go, however, if we contemplate; it has a deep meaning attached to it. There have been various studies that suggest that we are bombarded by a cavalry of thoughts each day and often that creates cacophony, confusion in our minds, and chaos in our physical world.

The nature of thoughts is that it is mostly unsystematic, random, and disorganised. They are based on perception, recollection, and imagination. To illustrate I use an example if we pass by a pastry shop, the colour, texture, and odour create a perception, also many times we just recollect an experience of having pastries at a friend’s party ten years back, further sometimes randomly the thought (craving) of having sumptuous pastry springs up. So with this example, it is clear that for a thought to crop up in our consciousness, we don’t necessarily require an external stimulus, our thoughts can brew up ideas on their own. Thus, thousands of multifarious, often diversified, thoughts ride over our consciousness and when each thought is given importance it jeopardises us and results in losing focus on issues that are meaningful in our lives. Our mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing gets severely disturbed if we navigate every mental pop-up.

So here comes the big question are we helpless in dealing with the continuous array of thoughts? The good news is No, we still have the choice whether to engage, engross, and entangle ourselves with each passing thought or to let the thoughts pass and we merely observe; like a person beside a lake watching the flow.

The observation and awareness of the passing of thoughts, also known as “SakshiBhava” in ancient Indian traditions, helps us to stay focussed and we do not get swayed away by every ripple of thought that strikes us.  To conclude here, I must say that not every thought is bad, few are constructive too. When we shift from engagement mode to observant mode, we are empowered to choose from the huge and haphazard chunk, the thoughts that are constructive and contribute to our purpose of living.  So every pop-up in the mind (thought) does not deserve our attention.

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