This excercise was challenging :-)
Where are they coming from and going to?
I have no idea where thoughts are coming from or going. It feels like from no where. It also feels like from my head, but where exactly from my head, I don’t know.
Did you do anything to make a particular thought or thoughts appear?
I did nothing. These thoughts appeared randomly, automatically. I didn’t do anything to make a thought appear or disappear.
Could you have done anything to make a different thought appear at that exact moment instead?
No. I can’t do anything about it. If I were to make a different thought appear at the exact moment, it would mean I can control the thoughts, which I clearly can’t.
Can you predict your next thought?
No. I tried, for curiosity. And all I got was more thoughts about guessing the next thought. I can’t predict the next thought because I can’t control thoughts..they are free.
Can you select from a range of thoughts to have only pleasant thoughts?
I tried to focus on positive thoughts for this part of the activity, and it felt good at first but there were thoughts that covered it up with a negative tone. The negative thoughts seemed to be stuck on me for a while. Both positive and negative are still thoughts. Since they’re all thoughts anyway, and I can’t control them, even if I wanted to...no I can’t select which thoughts to have.
Can you choose not to have painful, negative or fearful thoughts?
I can’t choose any thoughts, who can actually choose? They appear without me anyway.
**While I’m writing this, I remembered what you said about ‘round’, ‘red’ object referring to the ‘apple’.
Side Question - Isn’t saying a thought is ‘painful’, ‘negative’, ‘fearful’, also labeling a thought? So all thoughts are just thoughts...they don’t need labels?
Can you pick and choose any kind of thought?
No, I can’t pick and choose any thought. I don’t know where it comes from, where it goes, can’t control when it comes or what thought it will be. It does feel though some thoughts are pleasant - which feels like I want to keep those thoughts, but I can’t even if I wanted to.
The unpleasant thoughts felt sticky, like I wanted to figure out what they are saying, which led to some more thoughts about them. I know I can’t contol thoughts, but the unpleasant thoughts felt like I had a responsibility to fix them, to figure them out, hoping they can turn into positive thoughts :-). This was the challenging part for me.
Eventually I remembered to ignore what the thoughts were saying and watch them for the direct experience that they actually are. Thoughts are just thoughts. The ‘comments’ they are making is ADDINg to direct experience.
Is it possible to prevent a thought from appearing?
No...thoughts are free. The way to prevent a thought from appearing is to be the thought itself, which I don’t even know where it comes from or where it’s going or what it will say. I can’t control any thought, I can’t prevent a thought from appearing, it would be too late after the fact.
It seems that thought has some logical ordered appearance, but look carefully and just notice if there is an organised sequence? Or is that just another thought that says ‘these thoughts are in sequence’ or “they take content from previous thought”, or that ‘one thought follows another thought’?
It seems like it has a sequence, but this is another thought commenting on the previous thought, which is more thought? If 2 thoughts can see each other and talk to each other, they are having a face to face conversation. But they are there without my control anyway. I feel like the only way to even decide if thoughts have any order in their commentary is to be fully involved in what they’re saying, which is basically being involved in the soccer commentator’s words.
Thank you for reading, hope this made sense!