Good. Noticing the difference between Thought Arising and content of thought is very useful.
You're right I misspoke. Thought Arising is something that does not go away when we LOOK for it. We can't deny that thought arises. We are aware of it. That's more accurate. We also cannot deny our 5 senses. We are aware of Seeing, Hearing, Feeling, Tasting & Smelling.No, the content of thought is not Direct, but neither is Thought Arising if the criteria is that it has to be perceived with one of the 5 senses.
It seems that way, doesn't it? You can check. Does something cause thought or is it only content of thought that says so? We will do some exercises on cause & effect.I realize that most thoughts are a response to some stimuli (either a direct question/problem, or an internal fear-based neurotic belief). Some thoughts are totally random, but most thoughts come if there is a perceived problem for me to solve.
Right now, let's keep learning some basics. Let's do an exercise that is a little more concrete:
Mind labeling experience
Here is an exercise which examines the way in which the mind labels experience - it takes about 20 minutes and you will need a pen a paper.
This exercise is broken into 10 minute lots. For each 10 minute period pay attention to any bodily sensation i.e. is there any tightening, or any relaxing? Very important to pay attention to the body sensations.
For the first ten minutes write down what you are experiencing right now using the word “I."
I am sitting on a chair
I am hearing a clock ticking
I am looking at a computer screen
I am feeling hungry.
Get right to the point, no past or future fantasy, just a plain description of your experience right here and now.
Then for the next ten minutes continue writing down what you are experiencing but this time without using the word “I.” Just describe the experience as it is happening using verbs.
Sitting on a chair
Hearing the clock
(Again, watch what is happening in the body.)
At the end of the twenty minutes compare the two ways in which the experience was labeled and answer the following four questions:
1. Is one truer than the other, and If so, which one?
2. What is here without labels?
3. Do labels affect the experience or just describe it?
4. Did you notice any differences in the body? (be sure to pay attention to this.)
Write what is true about these.