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Life Fundamentals #5 - Thinking Is Suffering

Life Fundamentals #5 - Thinking Is Suffering
thinking is suffering AI image

What if I told you that I could teach you a way to guarantee your peace & happiness regardless of circumstance?

You'd say "Yeah. Prove it."

I'd say "It's already here. Just stop thinking."

Today, I'd like to share some teachings from Joseph Nguyen.

Thinking != Thoughts

Thinking is the root cause of all psychological suffering.

Look back to the last time you suffered immensely.

What was going on in your mind? Thinking.

thinking is like a collection of whirlpools – get stuck and you'll be going in circles

When something "bad" happened. What was your mind doing?


But Thinking is VERY different from thoughts...

A thought is simply a mental object that floats in front of your conscious awareness.

Thinking is where we engage with the thought.

A thought is a noun.

Thinking is a verb.

Why Does Thinking Suck?

It sucks because whenever you think about a thought you "cast your limiting beliefs, programming, and judgments on top of it."

You are holding thought hostage and when I say "you" – I mean your mind. Your mind makes a judgment about this thought. It's either good or bad. It's either pleasant or unpleasant.

You either want the thought to stay forever or leave immediately.

And this is what binds you.

A Thought Experiment:

Joseph shares this fascinating thought experiment.

I'll paraphrase:

Ask yourself: What is the dream amount of money you want to be making a year?

Wait 30-60 seconds – take note of what comes up.

Now: What do you think about this new dream goal for your income when we multiply it by 5?

Take another 30-60 seconds to become aware of how what is going on in your mind.


For the 1st question, a number probably popped into your mind quite effortlessly.

Next, I asked you to think about this goal if we 5x'd it. What was your mind doing then? If you're like most people – probably going on a rollercoaster ride.

Notice the distinction between thought and thinking. They are very different.

Thinking Is Always In The Past

excuse my handwriting 

You may not catch it but "thinking" is always in the past.

Even though your "experience" of thinking is quite instantaneous – it actually lags behind the present moment.

When you're thinking -> ego steps into full force -> abstracting away from the present moment. Notice how the thinking in your mind takes the form of a 1st person narrator. That's not you. That is your ego. The collection of memories & experiences with a voice. It's in the past.

When you're in the present. Where is that voice? It doesn't exist.

When you're completely at peace. Where is that voice? Not to be found.

When you're in love. Where is that voice? On vacation apparently.

That's because the ego cannot operate when you're wholly present. Your mind simply cannot superimpose an "apparent individual" in the present moment. There is no space.

Your mind is "dreaming up" a person. And it's that person who thinks, who reacts, who judges.

When you stay in the present moment – what's left?

The true you. With no strings attached.

Ok? But how do we do it?

It's easy. But you won't like the answer.

Do nothing.

Leave your mind alone once you realize you're thinking. Whenever you're fortunate enough to notice you've been thinking – just watch your mind & release.

Take an analogy:

If I asked you how you would make murky, muddy water in a bowl clear, what would you do?

Some people might say boil it. Others would say filter it out.

But the easiest answer is to: leave it alone.

credit for pic: https://medium.com/meditation-without-mysticism/alan-watts-muddy-water-and-meditating-49a8211cff8d
Just realize that thinking is the root cause of your current suffering (as soon as you can catch it) and create space between you and the thinking.

It'll slowly go away.

What's left?

ever-present awareness.

Being Happy Is Easy.

You are only 1 moment away from remembering that we are always at peace.

Being unhappy is actually quite hard to do. I am not sure how we can invest so much mental and emotional energy in being that way when our default state is happiness. Just be aware of thinking and you'll see that it is so.

Investigate the "thinking" that rejects this fact. Realize it is the root cause of your psychological suffering and then let it go.

You'll be back in the present moment.

with love