How To Stop Thinking

I  HAVE BEEN THINKING ALL DAY OF A WAY TO ASK THE QUESTION: HOW TO STOP THINKING?

THINKING  cannot be  stopped. Not  that it does not  stop, but it cannot  be stopped. It stops of  its own accord. This distinction  has to be understood, otherwise you  can go mad chasing your mind.

No-mind  does not  arise by stopping  thinking. When the thinking  is no more, no-mind is. The very  effort to stop will create more anxiety,  it will create conflict, it will make you split.  You will be in a constant turmoil within. This is  not going to help. And even if you succeed in stopping  it forcibly for a few moments, it is not an achievement at  all — because those few moments will be almost dead, they will  not be alive. You may feel a sort of stillness, but not silence, because  a forced stillness is not silence. Underneath it, deep in the unconscious, the  repressed mind goes on working. So, there is no way to stop the mind. But the  mind stops — that is certain. It stops of its own accord.

So  what  to do?  — your question  is relevant. Watch  — don’t try to stop.  There is no need to do any  action against the mind. In the  first place, who will do it? It will  be mind fighting mind itself. You will divide  your mind into two; one that is trying to boss  over — the topdog — trying to kill the other part  of itself, which is absurd. It is a foolish game. It can drive  you crazy. Don’t try to stop the mind or the thinking — just watch  it, allow it. Allow it total freedom. Let it run as fast as it wants.  You don’t try in any way to control it. You just be a witness. It is beautiful!

Mind  is one  of the most  beautiful mechanisms.  Science has not yet been  able to create anything parallel  to mind. Mind still remains the masterpiece  — so complicated, so tremendously powerful, with  so many potentialities. Watch it! Enjoy it! And don’t  watch like an enemy, because if you look at the mind  like an enemy, you cannot watch. You are already prejudiced;  you are already against. You have already decided that something  is wrong with the mind — you have already concluded. And whenever  you look at somebody as an enemy you never look deep, you never look  into the eyes. You avoid!

Watching  the mind means:  look at it with deep  love, with deep respect,  reverence — it is God’s gift  to you! Nothing is wrong in mind  itself. Nothing is wrong in thinking  itself. It is a beautiful process as other  processes are. Clouds moving in the sky are  beautiful — why not thoughts moving into the inner  sky? Flowers coming to the trees are beautiful — why  not thoughts flowering into your being. The river running  to the ocean is beautiful — why not this stream of thoughts  running somewhere to an unknown destiny? is it not beautiful?

Look  with deep  reverence. Don’t  be a fighter — be  a lover. Watch! — the  subtle nuances of the mind;  the sudden turns, the beautiful  turns; the sudden jumps and leaps;  the games that mind goes on playing;  the dreams that it weaves — the imagination,  the memory; the thousand and one projections that  it creates. Watch! Standing there, aloof, distant, not involved,  by and by you will start feeling…

The  deeper  your watchfulness  becomes, the deeper  your awareness becomes,  and gaps start arising, intervals.  One thought goes and another has not  come, and there is a gap. One cloud has  passed, another is coming and there is a gap. In  those gaps, for the first time you will have glimpses  of no-mind, you will have the taste of no-mind. Call it  taste of Zen, or Tao, or Yoga. In those small intervals,  suddenly the sky is clear and the sun is shining. Suddenly the  world is full of mystery because all barriers are dropped. The screen  on your eyes is no more there. You see clearly, you see penetratingly.  The whole existence becomes transparent.

In  the beginning,  these will be just  rare moments, few and  far in between. But they  will give you glimpses of what  samadhi is. Small pools of silence  — they will come and they will disappear.  But now you know that you are on the right  track — you start watching again.

When  a thought  passes, you  watch it; when  an interval passes,  you watch it. Clouds  are also beautiful; sunshine  also is beautiful. Now you are  not a chooser. Now you don’t have a  fixed mind: you don’t say, “I would like  only the intervals.” That is stupid — because once  you become attached to wanting only the intervals, you  have decided again against thinking. And then those intervals  will disappear. They happen only when you are very distant, aloof.  They happen, they cannot be brought. They happen, you cannot force them to  happen. They are spontaneous happenings.

Go  on watching.  Let thoughts come  and go — wherever  they want to go. Nothing  is wrong! Don’t try to manipulate  and don’t try to direct. Let thoughts  move in total freedom. And then bigger intervals  will be coming. You will be blessed with small satoris.  Sometimes minutes will pass and no thought will be there;  there will be no traffic — a total silence, undisturbed.

When  the bigger  gaps come, you  will not only have  clarity to see into the  world — with the bigger gaps  you will have a new clarity arising  — you will be able to see into the  inner world. With the first gaps you will  see into the world: trees will be more green  than they look right now. You will be surrounded  by an infinite music — the music of the spheres. You  will be suddenly in the presence of God — ineffable, mysterious.  Touching you although you can not grasp it. Within your reach and yet  beyond. With the bigger gaps, the same will happen inside. God will not  only be outside, you will be suddenly surprised — He is inside also. He  is not only in the seen; He is in the seer also — within and without. By and  by… But don’t get attached to that either.

Attachment  is the food  for the mind to  continue. Non-attached  witnessing is the way to stop  it without any effort to stop it.  And when you start enjoying those blissful  moments, your capacity to retain them for longer  periods arises.

Finally,  eventually,  one day, you  become master. Then  when you want to think,  you think; if thought is needed,  you use it; if thought is not needed,  you allow it to rest. Not that mind is simply  no more there: mind is there, but you can use it  or not use it. Now it is your decision. Just like legs:  if you want to run you use them; if you don’t want to run you  simply rest — legs are there. In the same way, mind is always there.

When  I am talking  to you I am using  the mind — there is  no other way to talk. When  I am answering your question I  am using the mind — there is no  other way. I have to respond and relate,  and mind is a beautiful mechanism. When I  am not talking to you and I am alone, there  is no mind — because it is a medium to relate  through. Sitting alone it is not needed.

You  have not  given it a  rest; hence, the  mind becomes mediocre.  Continuously used, tired,  it goes on and on and on.  Day it works; night it works.  In the day you think; in the night  you dream. Day in, day out, it goes  on working. If you live for seventy or  eighty years it will be continuously working.

Look  at the  delicacy and  the endurability  of the mind — so  delicate! In a small  head all the libraries of  the world can be contained;  all that has ever been written  can be contained in one single mind.  Tremendous is the capacity of the mind  — and in such a small space! and not making  much noise.

If  scientists  some day become  capable of creating  a parallel computer to  mind… computers are there,  but they are not yet minds.  They are still mechanisms, they  have no organic unity; they don’t  have any center yet. If some day it  becomes possible… and it is possible that  scientists may some day be able to create minds  — then you will know how much space that computer  will take, and how much noise it will make.

Mind  is making  almost no noise;  goes on working silently.  And such a servant! — for seventy,  eighty years. And then, too, when you  are dying your body may be old but your mind  remains young. Its capacity remains yet the same.  Sometimes, if you have used it rightly, it even increases  with your age! — because the more you know, the more you understand,  the more you have experienced and lived, the more capable your mind becomes.  When you die, everything in your body is ready to die — except the mind.

That’s  why in the  East we say mind  leaves the body and  enters another womb, because  it is not yet ready to die. The  rebirth is of the mind. Once you have  attained the state of samadhi, no-mind, then  there will be no rebirth. Then you will simply  die. And with your dying, everything will be dissolved  — your body, your mind… only your witnessing soul will  remain. That is beyond time and space. Then you become one  with existence; then you are no more separate from it. The separation  comes from the mind. But there is no way to stop it forcibly — don’t  be violent. Move lovingly, with a deep reverence — and it will start happening  of its own accord. You just watch. And don’t be in a hurry.

The  modern  mind is  in much hurry.  It wants instant  methods for stopping  the mind. Hence, drugs  have appeal. Mm? — you  can force the mind to stop  by using chemicals, drugs, but  again you are being violent with  the mechanism. It is not good. It  is destructive. In this way you are not  going to become a master. You may be able  to stop the mind through the drugs, but then  drugs will become your master — you are not going to  become the master. You have simply changed your bosses, and  you have changed for the worse. Now the drugs will hold power  over you, they will possess you; without them you will be nowhere.

Meditation  is not an effort  against the mind. It  is a way of understanding  the mind. It is a very loving  way of witnessing the mind — but,  of course, one has to be very patient.  This mind that you are carrying in your head  has arisen over centuries, millennia. Your small mind  carries the whole experience of humanity — and not only  of humanity: of animals, of birds, of plants, of rocks. You  have passed through all those experiences. All that has happened  up to now has happened in you also. In a very small nutshell, you  carry the whole experience of existence. That’s what your mind is. In fact,  to say it is yours is not right: it is collective; it belongs to us all.

Modern  psychology  has been approaching  it, particularly Jungian  analysis has been approaching  it, and they have started feeling  something like a collective unconscious. Your  mind is not yours — it belongs to us all.  Our bodies are very separate; our minds are not  so separate. Our bodies are clear-cutly separate; our  minds overlap — and our souls are one.

Bodies  separate,  minds overlapping,  and souls are one. I  don’t have a different  soul and you don’t have a  different soul. At the very  center of existence we meet and  are one. That’s what God is: the meeting-point  of all. Between the God and the world — ‘the  world’ means the bodies — is mind. Mind is a bridge:  a bridge between the body and the soul, between the world  and God. Don’t try to destroy it!

Many have  tried to destroy  it through Yoga. That  is a misuse of Yoga. Many  have tried to destroy it through  body posture, breathing — that too  brings subtle chemical changes inside. For  example: if you stand on your head in shirshasana  — in the headstand — you can destroy the mind very  easily. Because when the blood rushes too much, like a  flood, into the head — when you stand on your head that’s  what you are trying to do…. The mind mechanism is very delicate;  you are flooding it with blood. The delicate tissues will die.

That’s  why you  never come  across a very  intelligent yogi  — no. Yogis are,  more or less, stupid.  Their bodies are healthy  — that’s true — strong,  but their minds are just dead.  You will not see the glimmer of intelligence.  You will see a very robust body, animal like, but somehow  the human has disappeared.

Standing  on your head,  you are forcing  your blood into the  head through gravitation.  The head needs blood, but in  a very, very small quantity; and  very slowly, not floodlike.

Against  gravitation,  very little blood  reaches to the head.  And that, too, in a very  silent way. If too much blood  is reaching into the head it is  destructive. Yoga has been used to kill  the mind; breathing can be used to kill  the mind. There are rhythms of breath, subtle  vibrations of breath, which can be very, very drastic  to the delicate mind. The mind can be destroyed through  them. These are old tricks. Now the latest tricks are supplied  by science: LSD, marijuana, and others. More and more sophisticated  drugs will be available sooner or later.

I  am not  in favour  of stopping  the mind. I am  in favour of watching  it. It stops of its own accord  — and then it is beautiful When  something happens without any violence  it has a beauty of its own, it has a  natural growth. You can force a flower and  open it by force; you can pull the petals of  a bud and open it by force — but you have destroyed  the beauty of the flower. Now it is almost dead. It cannot  stand your violence. The petals will be hanging loose, limp, dying.  When the bud opens by its own energy, when it opens of its own accord,  then those petals are alive.

The  mind is  your flowering  — don’t force it  in any way. I am against  all force and against all violence,  and particularly violence that is directed  towards yourself. Just watch — in deep prayer,  love, reverence. And see what happens! Miracles happen  of their own accord. There is no need to pull and push.

You  ask: How  to stop thinking?  I say: Just watch,  be alert. And drop this  idea of stopping, otherwise  it will stop the natural transformation  of the mind. Drop this idea of stopping!  Who are you to stop? At the most, enjoy.

And  nothing  is wrong  — even if  immoral thoughts,  so-called immoral thoughts,  pass through your mind, let them  pass; nothing is wrong. You remain  detached. No harm is being done. It is  just fiction; you are seeing an inner movie.  Allow it its own way and it will lead you, by  and by, to the state of no-mind. Watching ultimately  culminates in nomind.

No-mind  is not against  mind: no-mind is  beyond mind. No-mind  does not come by killing  and destroying the mind: no-mind  comes when you have understood the  mind so totally that thinking is no longer  needed — your understanding has replaced it.

Excerpted From A Sudden  Clash Of Thunder CH: 2

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