This fundamental teaching alone holds within it the ability to clarify your seeing for the rest of your life. It is a cornerstone of our ignorance and misunderstanding. It will instantly help dissolve the root of our ignorance, identification with mind. Once you cut this cord that ties you tightly to your mind, everything begins to unravel and truth begins to shine though clearly. These are not grandiose statements of the promises of deep and complicated teaching. It is what we discover in the subtle … In the simple … What has been under our noses the whole time that we sort of knew but never acknowledged. The nature of thought.
What is a thought? Where does it come from? Where does it go to when it’s gone? The nature of your mind is that thoughts arise and dissolve. It’s unknown where they come from or where they go to when they are gone. As you become more and more skilled at observing your humanness and what rises in your humanness, you can see clearly that thought after thought simply arises in your mind, expresses itself and vanishes. This has happened over and over again for as long as you can remember. Where they come from, where they go to and what they are is simply unknown – other than them just being ideas that arise in your mind naturally.
Although these thoughts randomly arise and come and go as they please, we have assigned great importance to them. So much importance that we have become identified as them. Here is the first major misunderstanding. We think, “These thoughts are me so I must deal with them … I must look at them … Understand them.” We must ask ourselves, is this true?
When thoughts cease do you cease to exist? Those moments in life when you become very present and the mind becomes still, do you disappear? Is there a you without thought? What is aware of the thought? Is the thought aware of itself? What is watching the thought? Take a moment to contemplate these questions before going on.
An honest inquiry will reveal to you that there is a thought and there is that which is aware of the thought and they are not the same thing. The moment you see this is an auspicious moment in your life. Identification with mind has no choice but to begin cracking and falling away. This simple misunderstanding is one of the roots of suffering.
You begin to realize that thoughts are things to be observed and more importantly they are not you. You become acutely cognizant that you can observe a thought and it can affect you. However, the moment you take your minds gaze away from it, it somehow has no power. Thoughts seem to feed off of your own interest in them. The moment you lose interest … It’s gone. What does that tell you about thoughts?
Thought can only have the importance that we give them – and we do! We give great importance to thoughts. We think that just because a thought is in our head that it is so important. What if it wasn’t? What if thoughts weren’t important at all? What would life be like for you?
Tom Notarianni Jr.