'Thoughts are natural. They can not be stopped, they can however be made sublime with counter thoughts. Just like a thorn can be removed with another and poison neutralized by poison, so can the mind be made sublime with counter thoughts. Inauspicious thoughts should be countered with auspicious thoughts. A state of thoughtlessness comes with long and intense meditation'Sometimes our life moves in circles - a little while back in conversation with a friend I said that when Descartes said 'I think therefore I am', he must have been crazy because its possible to exist without thinking, and have a happier existence as we make ourselves miserable with the thoughts swarming around. To which he replied if what I wanted, was to be stupid.... to which I had no answer.- Acharya Mahprajna
A couple of days later I find these lines in one of my really old books. Myself and three of my girlfriends had gone to Nepal few years ago [what a blast]. On one of our less adventurous days [para-gliding, white water rafting and that flight into the Everest in a tiny plane that crashes more often than not made up three of our 6 days] we had gone to this one shop that had the most beautiful pashmina shawls and the owners were Jain and they gave all of us this book by Acharya Mahaprajna called 'Thoughts at Sunrise'.
Anyway to cut a long story short, reading this passage made me realize that although Descartes was right in what he said ...I wasn't altogether too wrong either! Of course if we didn't think we'd be no better than animals [although sometimes I feel it's debatable if we are] and that of course the unexamined life would really not be worth living, and boring in the extreme, but we do train our minds to think more unproductive thoughts than constructive ones!
Sometimes the wrong kind of thinking leads to all sorts of misery, convinces you that you are worthless. We create prisons for ourselves - if everything is going perfect we wait for the bad to happen. If we get a compliment we immediately think that we don't deserve it. We think that everyone who thinks we are smart has been sadly mistaken and we are actually not intelligent at all. Our insecurities keep us from trusting people and sometimes our own happiness.
It's like we feel that we don't deserve to be happy so whenever we are, we unconsciously thwart any chance of success. Maybe its self-preservation, throw something away before it gets taken away. I don't know. But we mutilate ourselves mentally and emotionally with our thoughts everyday.
If indeed we could find a way to separate the bad ones from the good and simply throw away the negative scary ones we'd be happier. A state where we can consciously stop ourselves from thinking - have that kind of control that we can switch on and off - wow!
P.S.: I can't meditate for 5 secs before an unwelcome storm of thoughts, just assails me, ranging from the truly horrible ones to mundane ones where I finally remember where I put the stapler I have been looking for....