Thinking rarely allows for new information. What is the use of thinking if you have no new information? It is like putting your life in a washing machine without soap or water. You turn it on and watch it go round and round. Then you switch it off and remove the contents. But your life is still your life, only more crumpled.
If you are thinking, always thinking, it is like cars that keep going round the roundabout. They just keep going round and round. They use up a lot of energy, get nowhere and prevent other vehicles from using the roundabout.
Thinking is OK sometimes but it is better to cultivate a mental presence that is focused and passive. It is better to learn to relax the mind and contemplate instead of thinking. When we contemplate we allow the information that we already have to simply be before us without trying to move it around.
When we allow our minds to become calm we allow new information to present itself to us and for new ideas to arise. Consider these words: “allow new information to present itself” and “allow new ideas to arise”. I did not say “I will get new information” or “I will have some new ideas”. Increasing our awareness is not about what “I” can do. It is about letting the “I” take a back seat for a while and seeing what arises in its place.
One of the side-effects of excessive thinking is the tendency to over-intellectualise the spiritual path: to want to talk about it, debate it and discuss it at the expense of living it. A balance needs to be found between the contemplation of qualities and actually putting them into practice.
*** This chapter is taken from my book The Light Within ***