Thoughts, attention, problems, awareness

The next time you have to solve a problem, close your eyes for at least five minutes, and quietly, easily think about it.

If your mind gets off the topic, bring it easily back with a mental question that focuses on the problem or a statement that encapsulates the problem. Watch how thoughts are triggered by this process of bringing the mind back to the starting point.

Note the “side trails” your mind offers you to explore, but keep coming back to the same central problem, and in this manner, “brain storm” a list of various solutions or issues that relate to the problem.

Ask yourself,Why does my mind “follow itself” at times but not at others?

If I put my attention on something, does it become more or less complex?

What is the nature of my mind when it comes to generating new thoughts about something? What keeps my interest going and what stops it finally? How do I “get off” my topic? Where is my permission “asked for” in such matters? Who changes my mind?

If I do not actively participate in my daily manufacturing of thoughts in the above directed manner and with intent, then who really is putting my attention on different topics, and who really is deciding what I shall think about? What is the difference between the “me” that consciously decides to pay attention to something and the “me” that spontaneously hops from topic to topic?

What would be the payoff to “getting completely out of the thought business?” What would happen if I never tried to think on purpose again? Could I do this?

Why do I feel like I am the “author of my life” when I so seldom “write my thoughts on purpose?”

When I try to stop a bad habit, who is having the urge to stop and who is having the urge to continue the bad habit? How can I have a debate with myself like this?

Am I my thoughts, my “thought history,” or am I the “thought production facility,” or am I an awareness that simply watches the thoughts come?