Thought is an addiction people have…and 90% of thought is not needed (for the average person). Now the mind/ego then thinks/feels…if I don’t think, I won’t do anything. But that is BS. Don’t fall for the tricks of the mind. Right now many of your actions are not based upon thought at all. When you need to take a dump…you just go do it. You don’t think about it and how you can fit it into your day. You don’t say, “at two o’clock, that is the appointed time for a dump.”
Athletes will talk about being in the zone. This is a time when you are not thinking…you are just acting. Thought and the mind gets in the way for high performance in sports. I think most people have felt this while playing their favorite sports or activities. Say baseball…you swing and hit the ball perfectly and it goes right out of the park. Afterwards you might recall you were not thinking at all at the time. You were just acting. You might even wonder how it you did it so well without thinking.
I used to study the martial arts. A lot of time was spent in letting thought go, because it was when you are thinking that you will get hit more. You can’t think about defending yourself and how you will strike back…you just have to do it. The less thought involved…the better. This involves trusting your understanding. You know what to do…you don’t have to think about it.
You can plan your future…that does require thought…but it is like hiking in the woods – you only need to look into the distance every once in a while to make sure you are still on course and then you quickly return to looking at where you are to make sure you don’t trip over something, bump into something, or fall into a pit. The focus is primarily on now…not on what is up ahead. If you are thinking and imagining too much, you may not see some vines and trip over them. We have all experienced bumping into someone on the street or in halls because we were not really looking where we were going (usually lost in thought).
Choice does not require extensive thought and internal deliberation. We think/deliberate when we don’t know what to do. But when you know what to do, thought is not needed. You may not remember when you started driving a car, but you were thinking a lot more about driving at that time to do it well. My daughter started driving last year and it reminded me. She would focus on and think about how much to turn the wheel to make turns…how fast you should go…etc. Often, because she did not know, she would not turn the wheel fast enough or be moving too fast. I have been driving for years…I haven’t thought about any of this…in years (until she started to drive). For me, I know what to do in order to drive…so thought is not needed for me to drive. Actually, I am safer when I don’t think and just focus on the experience of driving and be aware of what is around me.
I hope some of these examples and pointers help. From my own experience, thought has pretty much stopped in the normal course of day to day life. Hours could pass without a thought. Even now…I am just typing and the words are coming out. I am not thinking about what I am going to write…I am just writing. In this way words and more-so actions just come from silence. Spontaneous action based on what is going on and my own understanding/being.
As a last example and pointer, let me say that a compassionate person acts compassionately because they are compassionate. Compassion is their being. Compassion comes from who they are. It is an effort to act uncompassionately because it goes against their being. Being and understanding is not really separate.
In acting compassionately, they are not thinking all the time how to be compassionate. They are not thinking about their actions and trying to determine if it was compassionate. These would be the thoughts of someone who does not really know/understand compassion and is not compassionate (in their being). So again, this involves trusting your understanding and allowing action to come from who you are. If you know what to do…you don’t have to think about it.
So please don’t think that if you are uncompassionate now (in understanding and being), that you are stuck always being uncompassionate. Understanding can change…which changes being. Ignorance may be dispelled. In the end, it all comes down to understanding. This understanding is not shallow mental understanding…like of concepts…I am speaking of something deeper. Understanding in the depths of being.