Once again I am inspired by a bumper sticker.  This one says, “Don’t believe everything you think.”  Fantastic!  So true.  Of course, the commom advice, “Don’t believe everything you hear…read…see on TV” is what we’re used to heeding, but practice this variation and it will set you free. 

In yoga, we study the ego in an effort to let go of the ego.  When we come to a place where we can let the mind have it’s thoughts and be the observer of those thoughts instead of simply reacting to them, we reside in a place of ease and unconditional happiness.  We can’t help what pops up into our head.  If you don’t believe me, try to stop your next thought from arising.  Words, ideas, strange and unusual stories show up there.  This is just how we’re wired.  We can’t control the thoughts any more than we can control the weather.  When we choose to BELIEVE these thoughts though; that’s a different story. 

We tend to believe everything we think, because it’s coming from our mind which can be a very reliable place to get information like finding the car keys and remembering that Boise is the capital of Idaho. (My son is studying the states and capitals and we’re doing alot of memorizing).  But sometimes the mind comes up with some weird-ass stuff.  I remember a thought years ago when my older son was acting like a devil spawn as a toddler and an image came into my mind to drop-kick him through the front window.  I’m so glad I didn’t believe that was a good idea.  I adore my son more than life itself, I have given up most of myself to devote to the welfare of my kids, why on earth would something like that enter my mind?  Emotional trigger, fleeting anxiety, I don’t have any idea, but it did.  I was horrified that it showed up, but I had the sense to ignore it.  Don’t believe everything you think.

One time I pulled into the grocery store parking lot and saw a young man lingering outside the entrance.  He had dark hair, a beard, boots and a leather jacket.  He was just standing there smoking.  He looked ominous.  I felt a little agitated when I walked past and didn’t make eye contact.  My mind formed an opinion about this man that he was trouble.  Later that day, I picked up my little one from kindergarten and who was there, but the man.  This time as he stood, his arms were wide open as his little girl ran and jumped into them, shouting, “Daddy!”  He was just somebody’s dad.  Don’t believe everything you think.

The mind does the best it can to form a notion based on experience, but let’s face it, even for the most worldly,  experience is limited. In yoga we honor the mind for what it can offer; information, but we rely on another wisdom which transcends the mind.  This innate wisdom that can be felt and is always right.  Sometimes it aligns with the ego, but other times it’s guidance is in the opposite direction.  The practice is to be in such a state of awareness that we can hear the thoughts and also see clearly what is real by feeling that connection to the moment. 

Don’t believe everything you read.  Check it out for yourself. 🙂

Be master of mind rather than mastered by mind -Zen proverb