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You are Not Your Thoughts

You are Not Your Thoughts

"You are the awareness of your thoughts. You are not your thoughts. You can let your thoughts happen. Just know that the real you is the awareness."

~ RuPaul

Things We Are Saying To Ourselves

Things We Are Saying To Ourselves

"An inner voice always used to be an outer voice. We absorb the tone of others. A harassed or angry parent. The menacing threats of an elder sibling keen to put us down. The words of a schoolyard bully or teacher who seemed impossible to please. We internalize the unhelpful voices, because at certain key moments in the past, they sounded compelling. The authority figures repeated their messages over and over until they got lodge in our own way of thinking." 

~ The School of Life

Speechless

Speechless

When I first started practicing mindfulness, I saw internal words — aka verbal thoughts — as my opponents. Like most people, I thought the point was to not think. When verbal thoughts were present, I was obviously not. Start over. Try harder.

There's just one problem with this approach. It is normal for the mind to think in words.

Respites in the Demands of Sensation

Respites in the Demands of Sensation

I swoon and recoil at the tresses blowing
in an arbor without glow
or flame. These are reprieves. Respites
in the demands of sensation
and flow. Know this: you can you can
you can you can you can.

~ Margot Schilpp

The Atomic Components of Narrative Elements

The Atomic Components of Narrative Elements

Stories and our individual lives share the same elements: protagonists, antagonists, conflict, plot, action, climax, and resolution.  What are the atomic components that make these narrative elements possible? 

Attentional Fitness Training for Musicians

Attentional Fitness Training for Musicians

Athletes and musicians -- and anyone else who has committed effort over time toward the development of a specific skill -- tend to have some advantages when it comes to these strategies. But what if there were exercises and drills to add to the mix that could systematically support the development of concentration, clarity, and equanimity in the context of rehearsal and performance?

Silence Lets Your Mind Just Be Free to Run Around

Silence Lets Your Mind Just Be Free to Run Around

"I think that the reason they want to have music in a funeral home is that the silence lets our mind just be free to run around with whatever thoughts that we have. And if somebody's in a funeral home, they're very likely to be having sad thoughts."

~ David Young

Listen to Music, Hear Your Thoughts

Listen to Music, Hear Your Thoughts

By default, most of us have developed a stunning and sophisticated repertoire for blocking out the world around us. We allocate the bulk of our attention inwardly toward the stories playing out in our minds.

Thinking Isn’t Personal

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A thought is harmless unless we believe it. It’s not our thoughts, but the attachment to our thoughts, that causes suffering. Attaching to a thought means believing that it’s true, without inquiring. A belief is a thought that we’ve been attaching to, often for years.

Most people think that they are what their thoughts tell them they are."

~ Byron Katie

The Breath of Awareness

"Listen, this process called poetry is an exercise in imagining memory, and then having that memory snare and cherish imagination. Yet, every poem is and will be a capsule of territory in the perpetual present tense, a vessel taking on the ever-changing colors of the sea.

Poetry is the breath of awareness and the breathing thereof. I even mean this literally, for underlying the flow and the fall of verses are ‘natural units’ of consciousness sculpted by rhythm, by recall, by movement reaching for the edges of meaning and of darkness. One could illustrate by averring that the poem is a membrane, rippling, thrumming; reminding us that we are breathing organisms continually translating the space around us, continually translating ourselves into spaces of the known and thus drawing circumferences around locations of the unknown. From this one could extrapolate that the practice and process of remembering /evoking /awakening events and our selves lead quite naturally to questioning the polarities of other and I, to writing (and un-writing) the self, and toward rewriting the world. The boat changes the water.

Poetry is also the wind of time and thus the movement and singing of being…For when you hold a poem to your ear you hear the deep-sound, the movements we are part of, conveying not so much a literal meaning as an existential sense. It constitutes the spinal chord of remembering. And it reminds us that remembering is movement."