I am starting a new thread here mainly for purposes of my own catharsis. It is my intention, at least at this point, to make regular contributions. Of course, if anyone else has anything to add, they are more than welcome. If you have any input, please contribute.
Over a year ago I decided to deal head-on with my self-diagnosed adult attention disorder, (ADD). The inability to stay focused was becoming too stressful. I found myself sitting around watching the clock tick, yet I couldn’t keep “on task” with any project I started. Nothing was getting done and just starting something was becoming depressing.
The smart thing to do was probably to get professional help, so instead I decided to try to heal myself, at least as a first try. Cognitive therapy and pharmaceuticals (UGH) might be the approved way to go but I decided to try meditation first.
18 months and countless self-help books later, I still can’t bring myself to a regular, formal meditation program. But, along the way, I discovered informal mindfulness. Yes, I know it is the “Fad” right now. It is hard to navigate modern social trends without “tripping over” somebody extolling the benefits of mindfulness.
Let me add my voice to the chorus.
"The more you want to believe a thing, the harder you should look at it.
-Alan S. Parkes
"Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy."
— Thich Nhat Hanh
"I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be." ~ Groucho Marx
"If your relationship with the Now is dysfunctional, that dysfunction will be reflected in every relationship and every situation you encounter." ~ Eckhart Tolle
"Whence all this hurry to arrive at a state? Are you not already face-to-face with the eternal mystery? Take it easy for a while; just watch the snow falling or the kettle boiling, and not so much hurry." — Alan Watts
Some seemingly conflicting thoughts on the destructive mental habit of ruminating:
"Negative thoughts left unchecked lead to negative emotions." ~ Everyday Mindfulness
And, "Don't think and reflect unnecessarily, compulsively, from sheer force of habit. In Zen they call this having a leaky mind." ~ Alan Watts
But then there is "The best way to deal with excessive thinking is to just listen to it, to listen to the mind. Listening is much more effective than trying to stop thought or cut it off." ~ Ajahn Amaro
So, to think, or not to think, that is the question. Here's my resolution. You can't actively stop the thoughts, but you don't have to believe them.
"When sitting in meditation, say 'That's not my business!' with every thought that comes by." ~ Ajah Chah
"Thoughts are only puffs of smoke rising from the chimney of the mind. Attaching attention to them is the heart of suffering." ~ Wu Hsin
No matter what aggravates you, remember it is just a thought and you can let it go.
Some more thoughts on the topic:
"Mindfulness doesn't stop thoughts, but it can allow you to tolerate them without getting overwhelmed by them." ~ Everyday Mindfulness
"Observing your emotions is as important as observing your thoughts." ~ Everyday Mindfulness
"But nothing can satisfy the ego for long. As long as it runs your life, there are two ways of being unhappy. Not getting what you want is one. Getting what you want is the other." ~ Eckhart Tolle
"Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck." ~ Dalai Lama XIV
“When you recognize that there is a voice in your head that pretends to be you and never stops speaking, you are awakening out of your unconscious identification with the stream of thinking.” ~ Eckhart Tolle