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What Lies Beyond the Thoughts?

Updated: Apr 19, 2023

The recently deceased former buddhist monk Björn Natthiko Lindeblad said in an interview in the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter that our problem is that we believe in our thoughts. In the interview, Lindeblad stated that "[w]e humans feel bad unnecessarily. The biggest reason for that is that we believe in thoughts we have about what is wrong with us, what is wrong with the world, how others should be and how I should be."

There are studies that indicate that we think upwards of 60,000 thoughts daily, of which the absolute majority are negative. Because we can't stop thinking these negative thoughts, it's like being stuck in a prison of thoughts.

Our mind world is entirely subjective and has nothing to do with reality. For example, if two people enter the same room, they will experience two different perceptions of the room. The experience will differ depending on personal preferences, previous experiences, age, culture, etc. They thus see their own image of the room and not the room as it is. The same applies to all our experiences. What is an upsetting event to one person is a shrug to the other. A thing or an event has in itself no charge of good or bad, beautiful or ugly; it is only our own perception, our mind, our thoughts and feelings, that define something as good or bad, beautiful or ugly.

What we call our life is an outflow of our mind world. The content of our mind world - our experiences, experiences, thoughts, feelings, etc. - is constantly played like a movie within us. A cinema where we are both the screen, the actors and the audience. In the film, scenes full of inadequacy, desire, standards, loneliness, longing for confirmation and love, fears, desires, shame, etc. are played out. When we live controlled by the content of this movie, our life becomes difficult. The more identified we are with our film, the more important it is to our experience of life.

An immature mind thinks there is a solution inside the movie. If we feel bad, we blame various circumstances (other people, my own background, my shortcomings). The immature mind believes it can fix its unhappiness by satisfying desires or seeking pleasure, money, validation, etc. From such a perspective, we try to make things right; you can say that we try to make the world fit us. Sometimes it can seem like we succeed, and it feels better for a while. However, it is a chimerical solution as things are in constant change. Soon it will be up and running again. The worry, the stress, the dissatisfaction.

As the mind matures, one begins to realize that there is no answer within one's thoughts or to rummage around in external circumstances. The mature mind understands that it is impossible to find any lasting happiness by acting in this way.

A meditation center in Stockholm. Online classes. In-house classes. Guided meditation.

The key to freedom is to "see beyond" thoughts. By meditating, we empty our mind of thoughts and feelings. At first glance, it may sound a little strange. People sometimes wonder if this means that you stop thinking or become apathetic to the outside world. However, this is not the case. What happens is that you start to see the world as it is. The world is what is, a being, an existence beyond man's concept of good and evil, right and wrong. Seeing this being does not mean becoming apathetic. On the contrary. Living in objective existence means ceasing to be self-centered. For one whose mind is one with the world, it is natural to empathize with others, to understand and to work for something greater than one's own self. It will be a good life. Objective existence is also not bound to the past or to the future. It can thus act here and now without being stuck in any bitterness or regret.

The way there is to empty the mind or "throw away" the thoughts and feelings in the mind. As soon as you become aware of a thought or feeling, you get rid of it (let it go) using meditation. This leads to our consciousness - bit by bit - returning to its original state of pure existence. After a period of practice, you will notice that the mind - to an ever-increasing extent - rests in it all. Although you can note your thoughts and feelings, you are no longer drawn into them. You are no longer fixed and identified with them. You can express it as you no longer "believe" in them, as Björn Natthiko says.

Little by little, we become less and less interested in ourselves, how we feel, what the "form of the day" is like, the gnawing worry about the future. Instead, we become alive in the present. We can devote ourselves to what we need to do, our work, take care of our children, listen to and give advice to others, etc. It becomes natural within us to focus on our work and to help other people forward.

The above should not be misunderstood as us suppressing or denying our needs. Such action would lead to burnout. By emptying the mind, on the contrary, a natural balance arises within us. Depending on which "side" we come from, we are balanced out. If, for example, we have previously restrained ourselves and never spoken out, taken on an overwhelming responsibility, etc. we gain the insight and courage to speak up, to delegate work tasks or to reduce our level of ambition. If we have instead been comfortable, burdened others with work or otherwise made it difficult for others, we become aware of it and will naturally change in a direction where we consider other people more. The reason this happens is that the true mind within us is naturally balanced.

In this way we begin to discover the true existence within us. The existence of everything. It is real and valuable. We gain deeper insight into the meaning of love and joy. Life becomes joy.


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