Daily Wisdom / Pema Chödrön

Where Do Thoughts Come From?

Book coverWhen the thoughts arise it might occur to you to wonder where they come from. Where do they come from? It seems as if they come from nowhere. You’re just faithfully following your breath and—Wham!—you’re in Hawaii surfing. Where did it come from? And where does it go? Big drama, big drama’s happening, big, big, drama. And it’s 9:30 in the morning. “Oooh. Wow! This is extremely heavy.” A car horn honks, and suddenly you’re not in that drama anymore, you’re in another drama.

I was once instructed to meditate on thoughts. I investigated the nature of thought for two whole months. I can tell you firsthand that you can never find a thought. There is nothing there of substance, but with our mind we make it Extremely Big Deal.

From Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living by Pema Chödrön, page 68

2 thoughts on “Where Do Thoughts Come From?

  1. Not sure. I have the impression that my thoughts reflect reality and as such might be viewed as having some substance. I wish so much I could create positive thoughts, or that such thoughts for that matter could just come from somewhere, but they do not.

    Have you ever been mistreated badly for a long time (years) without hope to escape at some point other than by taking your life, been practically locked away, lost everything you worked for very hard (not even including material goods here, just a place in society)? Do you know how it feels when people physically injure you because you try to fight ignorance and racism?
    I experienced all that and even lost any proper means of defense. After what I am trough and the thoughts (actually, the knowledge) of what awaits me, I lately even fail to successfully use teachings like yours as an inspiration (listened to almost all of your audio books, but it does not work anymore). I also lost the ability to view members of the society (I myself once contributed to for many years) as sentient beings. I am trying day and night to not give in to just taking my life, I am trying to tell what is happening here to us people, both Norwegians who oppose the tribalistic system and foreigners, while NOBODY cares or even knows.

    Soon His Holiness the Dalai Lama will visit the society that has done this to me and does the same to many others (Norway), but I expect he will not realize what society that really is. Most representatives, including prime minister, do not want to meed him, I hope he does take notice!
    That are the thoughts that came to me on that topic.

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