Daily, snackable writings and podcasts to spur changes in thinking. Why?

If we wish to change the person we find ourselves to be, we must change our thinking.

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COZY MIND

August 2nd, 2019

A bucket of mud is no place for an origami flower.

 

That paper flower would instantly soak and bloat, wrinkle and whither until nothing is left but a sloppy mess.

 

A paper flower is an intricate and delicate construction, and in order for it to, well, flourish, it needs the right environment, like a clean dry table on which it can be displayed.

 

Some thoughts and ideas are like this origami flower.  They require a certain environment in order to be constructed and appreciated.

 

Many people do not have a mind that can host a good thought.   Think of all the self-deprecating thoughts that are running around in people’s mind right now.  How many people would – if they could some how be relieved of this self-depreciation – start work on a nice little idea they have.  An idea that is currently squashed by the heavy dominance of negative thoughts? 

 

Great things have small beginnings,

 

but

 

 small beginnings require the right environment to continue.


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Podcast Ep. 474: Cozy Mind

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Tinkered Thinking


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Appreciation can be more than a feeling. Toss something in the jar if you find your thinking delightfully tinkered.




BUCKET OF MUD

August 1st, 2019

 

Most people carry around a bucket of mud in their heads.  Without some sort of filter, or drain, there’s little or no ability for all the negative unhelpful stuff that pops up in the course of mental life to get out of the head.

 

The image of the prospector comes in useful here: how far would a prospector get if he tried to sift for gold with a solid bucket?  Well a solid bucket allows for no sifting at all.  There’s no way to drain out the useless stuff.

 

Imagine for a moment, someone who thinks a useless, unhelpful thought regularly for years and years.  Perhaps there was an embarrassing episode that no one else remembers that is a constant source of re-embarrassment.  It’s like a wild animal trapped inside the cage of the skull, wreaking havoc, allowing no space for any other potentially useful thoughts.

 

 

Only by letting that whack-thought of an animal out of the brain can we make space for another thought or idea that has any hope of being helpful, pleasurable or beneficial.

 

But instead, many people carry around a bucket of useless mud in terms of the thoughts and concepts that inhabit their mind.

 

What’s in your bucket?


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Podcast Ep. 473: Bucket of Mud

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Tinkered Thinking


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Appreciation can be more than a feeling. Toss something in the jar if you find your thinking delightfully tinkered.




WHAT MEDITATION DOES

July 31st, 2019

The basic foundational ingredient of a meditation practice is awareness. It’s the opposite of having a head in the clouds.

 

To be lost in thoughts. 

 

Day-dreaming.

 

A meditative practice simply makes it more likely that you will take a step back and look at what’s going on.  Not just situationally but mentally.  For example, anxiety often emerges from some thought that we can’t stop thinking.  The thought might be about some impending event, or something embarrassing that happened.  In comparison, anxiety is rarely about what is actually going on in the moment.  A meditative practice equips someone with the ability to step back and recognize the anxiety, and the thought for what it is.  With enough practice, these detrimental feelings fade in their power and ability to consume our minds.  But even in the short term, merely being able to take a step back and recognize the intoxicating process that is occurring has huge benefits.

 

Ultimately, meditation poses a question to one’s self:

 

is this where I want my attention to be?

 

If the answer is yes, then great.

 

Otherwise, meditative practice allows one’s self to let go of the current mental concept or state.

 

What comes next is some what up to chance.  We can’t really predict what our next thought will be once the current thought is out of the way.

 

In this sense it’s a bit like sifting for gold.  We can constantly let go of the useless dirt and when a shiny nugget of gold comes along, we can hold on to it for a little bit.

 

Without this ability, we can get stuck thinking about some useless and potentially harmful object of mind for ridiculous amounts of time.

 

Our head is, essentially a static bucket of mud without the ability to sift. 

 

Meditation, at the end of the day, is a simple ability to sift out all the unhelpful mental….

 

stuff.

 

 

This episode references Episode 347: Predicting Thoughts and Episode 473: Bucket of Mud


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Podcast Ep. 472: What Meditation Does

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Tinkered Thinking


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Appreciation can be more than a feeling. Toss something in the jar if you find your thinking delightfully tinkered.




SICK OF BEING SICK OF

July 30th, 2019

Using the phrase “I’m sick of” indicates what exactly?

 

Is our body ill in the way it would be if we had the flu?

 

No.  Not really.

 

Usually it references an unpleasant experience that occurs regularly.

 

Notice how strange it would be to say you are sick of something that has only happened once and probably will only happen once.

 

Regularity is key here.

 

The regular and unpleasant experience is one thing to deal with.  But what about the instances when we report it to other people?  Hence saying “I’m so sick of…”

 

Generally, we aren’t in the midst of the experience while we harp about it to some friend.  We are reporting the experience some time after it has happened.

 

But in so doing, we are activating the unpleasantness again.

 

With awareness focused again on the unpleasant experience, we experience it again.  At least in its effect of producing unpleasantness.

 

It’s likely that we are eager to report the experience because we’ve been thinking about it nonstop since it happened, and talking about it is a way to expunge it.

 

In this case, what we are really sick ofis… thinking about it.  And this is generally the case for all things that we can be sick of.

 

Rarely is the experience of such things all that bad, otherwise we’d take definitive actions to make sure it doesn’t happen again. What we really suffer from is the way such experiences continue to inhabit our thoughts and awareness.  It’s our sense of the moment, our awareness which is polluted and sick.

 

However, our mental world is one that we can edit on the fly.  The ability to choose what to think about is a skill that can be practiced and honed, and meditation is the biggest, clearest doorway to this gymnasium of exercise.

 

Thoughts and beliefs have a parasitic nature.  Our minds become hosts to these thoughts and beliefs.  Like the common cold, or the flu, or the seasonal ‘bug’ that wreaks havoc in our body, thoughts and beliefs can similarly wreak havoc in the mind.  The ability to choose what to think about requires a foundation of awareness about what’s really going on in the mind.  Most of the time we are like a soldier in the midst of a battle.  Awareness of one’s thoughts is like becoming a general who can see the whole battle. 

 

Meditation builds an immune system for the mind.

 

We cease to be sick ofthis or that when we develop the ability to choose what to think about. 


Check out the Tinkered Thinking   Reading List

or
Dive in to the Archives

Podcast Ep. 471: Sick of being Sick of

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Tinkered Thinking


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Appreciation can be more than a feeling. Toss something in the jar if you find your thinking delightfully tinkered.




TO HURT A BELIEF

July 29th, 2019

Ideas do not care about you.  Not even an idea like love.  Though it might seem built into the concept, its not.  We need only look at the long tradition of heartbreak and heartbreaking to see just how hurtful this loving concept can be.  In fact, few things cause more acute emotional pain then this concept and the way it can renege on the tempting lure of its advertisements.

 

The same follows for most all other beliefs, and this fact is compounded by a very imbalanced fact:

 

Belief can hurt you, but You cannot hurt a belief.

 

Beliefs can only be used to help guide and direct our behavior.  Whether this cascade of influence results in our environment becoming better - whether that be from a financial point of view, or in terms of relationships, or even our physical natural environment - depends solely on the quality of the belief and how well it accords to reality. 

 

In spite of this ruthless one-way street, it’s a wonder why we aren’t more discerning and rigorous with the beliefs that we choose to adopt and nurture. There is a sort of Stockholm Syndrome at play when a person holds on to a belief that is clearly doing them some harm. The most extreme example of this is the religious suicide bomber who quite literally does the most self-detrimental thing possible. . . because of a belief.

 

There’s an analogy here to be drawn with a parasite. The definition of a parasite is ‘an organism that lives in or on another organism and benefits by deriving nutrients at the host’s expense.’

 

This certainly seems to fit snuggly with the example of the religious suicide bomber whose belief benefits from the ultimate expense.

 

But other beliefs can be used to great personal benefit.  A rigorous study of physics and mathematics is grounded in the belief that the theorems and systems within physics and mathematics can be applied to reality to great manipulative effect.  Watching a rocket fall from space and land itself on a launch pad is one of the most awe-inspiring recent examples of much yield we can get from beliefs that have a tight relationship with the physical reality in which we find ourselves.

 

While it would be immensely beneficial and efficient to toss out beliefs that don’t have a tight accord with reality, doing so often comes with heavy social consequences.  We hinder one another by expecting each other to be consistent, and this consistency manifests itself primarily as holding on to the same beliefs.

 

We are stubborn to change, not so much because of who we are as individuals but because of how we are tied to one another in communities. 

 

 

This episode references Episode 33: Rose-Coloured Cuffs


Check out the Tinkered Thinking   Reading List

or
Dive in to the Archives

Podcast Ep. 470: To Hurt a Belief

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Tinkered Thinking


donating = loving

If you appreciate the work of Tinkered Thinking, please consider lending support. This platform can only continue and flourish with the support of readers and listeners like you.

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TIP JAR

Appreciation can be more than a feeling. Toss something in the jar if you find your thinking delightfully tinkered.