Adonis Diaries

How to sit with your thoughts: The 3-phase technique

Posted on: September 6, 2011

How to sit with your thoughts: 3 phases technique
On September 6, published his follow up article. It might be interesting to read the first post in order to realize how an idea can be carried through to resolution. This article is self-contained though to comprehend the concept. I performed minor editing.

“Today, as I’m sitting with my thoughts in front of the rising Sun, I see my thoughts with such rare clarity; the clarity I wish I have all the time.

I see 3 phases that my thoughts go through. The 1st phase, I call «Distraction»: It is synonymous with Mass Media, Prozac, and iTunes. That’s the phase where I daydream. I create virtual scenarios that are more pleasant than reality; a beach in Hawaii, being invisible, being a virtual character living an adventurous ideal life…. By doing that, I distract myself from the thoughts caused by real-life incidents.

Ironically, although technically I seem to be sitting with my thoughts, I’m actually still distracting myself from them. It is dawning on me, I think, that meditation might just be another way to distract myself from the thoughts that matter: While meditating, I visualize virtual worlds (daydreaming), I repeat a mantra (can’t think in parallel), I focus on breath (can’t focus on the thoughts at the same time.)

It just might be that meditation relieves me from stress and emotional pain, by distracting me from the causes of pain (Prozac?). I’m not attacking meditation, since I meditate myself. I’m only suggesting that maybe there needs to be a time for sitting with my thoughts, just like there are needs for time for meditating (which helps me deal with those thoughts.)

This of course contradicts the core teachings of most meditation schools. These schools discourage “meditators” from allowing their thoughts to flow freely; ideally 24/7. I hope you now get the idea why I called the 1st phase «Distraction».

Phase 2 starts when I become aware of «Distraction».  I call the 2nd phase «Acceptance». That’s when I push away the distracting daydreams. Immediately, the reality of my life flows in. I’m aware of the problems and conflicts. I’m aware of where I am now in life, as opposed to where I want to be. At this point, daydreams and distractions start to interfere again, in an effort to take me away from the pain of the realization.

Obviously that’s a sign that I’m in denial. It’s only when I discard the daydreams and stick to the reality of my life, that I start accepting my reality and all its problems. And when I do that, when I accept the pain of realization, when I watch all my thoughts with acceptance, that’s when I’m ready to move to the 3rd phase.

Once I accept my thoughts, I’m well on my way to resolving them. I call the 3rd phase «Resolution». I process the thoughts as they come. I think through each one until, arbitrarily, another one comes along.

Except that the thoughts don’t come arbitrarily. Because naturally, in this phase, my mind feeds my problems from the most painful to the lesser painful.

I realized that my mind in this resolution phase has a natural tendency to automatically start solving any problem it comes across (assuming I’ve broken out of denial, and accepted reality. Otherwise, my mind flees into the comfort of distraction.) And as my mind tackles a problem, suddenly another thought appears, and my mind starts tackling that other problem.

I allow this to happen for a simple reason, which you might have guessed by now. Let’s say my mind feeds me the most painful thought 1st: thought ‘A’. My mind then starts resolving thought ‘A’. As soon as thought ‘B’ comes along, this means that my mind has resolved thought ‘A’ enough for it to be less painful than thought ‘B’. Thus ‘A’ gets replaced with ‘B’ and so on. But at any time the 1st phase can reappear and sweep me into Lalaland. I can’t let my guard down.

The 3rd phase is actually pleasant and relieving. It feels as if an ancient tension is finally getting resolved. I look forward to it in the early morning as the Sun rises.

Rather than distracting yourself with daydreaming, Mass Media, Prozac, iTunes, or even a game of Solitaire, try accepting reality for a change. Denial ‘might’ just be the hidden ‘source’ behind our pain. Now that we have an idea of what this source might be, isn’t it time to stop treating the symptoms?

Try going from «Distraction» to «Acceptance» to «Resolution», and share with me your experience.” (End of quote)

I assume that experienced that the most painful comes first for resolution.  Maybe the brain is more flexible to accommodate the potential of a person to treating first the kinds of resolvable pain.  For example, with older people and individuals who failed in their first attempt, the mind might display lesser painful thoughts so that success will generate the necessary catalyst and motivation to resolving the more painful thought. Or I wish the mind is enough intelligent, compassionate, wanting to succeed in order not to harass a willing individual into retracting easily from a second try.

Consequently, night dreams and daydreams may extend solutions, if and only if, you accepted to deal with the painful thoughts.  You have set the proper background to permit any means to come to the rescue of any resolution.

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September 2011

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