November 22 : Question Our Thoughts

Somebody is really sunk in a very deep depression and a lot of self-loathing. Is that an effect of karma? Is karma at play? There are multiple things going on. One factor might be karma. It could be in a previous life we harmed others and we made other people feel fearful. As a result, we have a tendency towards that mental state in this life. Also, it is how we are actively thinking in this life. When we come up with these unrealistic thoughts and we do not question them and we believe them, then we are letting our minds go. There may be a tendency and then we jump in and push it along. That is why it is so important to stop and say, “Is what I’m thinking true or not?” A lot of times, the idea in our mind is rubbish. We are not bad people because we have rubbish thinking. We are just confused people who are trying to be happy. We can give ourselves some compassion and kindness. “You are trying to be happy, but those thoughts are certainly not serving your purpose and they are not true. I have got to let go of those thoughts because they are only thoughts. They are not reality.”

What is a thought? It is an interesting question. It is just some energy. It is nothing tangible. Thinking something does not mean it is real. It does not mean it is true. The really nice thing about meeting the Dharma and being an adult: we can assess what is true and what is not. When we were little kids, we did not have that ability, and whatever adults told us we took it in and believed. But adults are confused sometimes. We need to question a lot of these things that we imbibed when we were kids and really see, “Is this true/ is it not true?” If it is not true, let us throw it out and not let it control our minds and not let it control how we live our lives. Instead of letting them stay around like murky goo in the bottom of our minds, shine the flashlight down. Take out those thoughts and go, “Is that true or not? Rubbish! Throw it out!”

Like the statement, “I made such a horrible mistake. Nobody will ever speak to me again.” Okay, so I made a mistake. Is it the most horrible mistake in the 458 | November November | 459 world? No. Is it true that nobody is going to speak to me again because I did that? No. Is there a way I can purify my mistake and let that go? Yes. Then let us do that. We do purification practice. That is a much better way to live our life as opposed to letting all these incorrect thoughts shape our experience.

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