INQUIRY - Contemplative questioning to disidentify from the thought streaming
The essential part of our sadhana is to dissolve the egoic tendencies and be established in our true Self. In order to succeed to this, we must stop identification with thoughts and emotions.
Two of the main causes that we are so attached to our thoughts is that we are fascinated by them and we take them as a reality.
Thus, to stop identification with thoughts and imaginations, I suggest two inquiries which I developed during my spiritual journey. The one is to separate thoughts from lust or emotions in order to 'break down' the fascination of thinking or imagining and the other is a contemplative questioning which help us realize that the thoughts are not a reality. There are also other ways to stop fascination and attraction to thoughts, especially to those thoughts that are related to objects of pleasure, but separating the lust or the emotion from thoughts is one of the most effective ones.
In this essay I will explain the contemplative questioning.
An effective way to stop our identification with thoughts and the thought process is to dissolve our deception that thoughts is a reality by questioning our selves like this:
If I don't think about this or that, where does this or these things exist ?
Just ask and contemplate this question in silence. By remaining silent, where all these things you were thinking exist? Nowhere. Be silent and realize deeply that what you think as reality exists only in your mind.
Every time we do this silent contemplation we become more and more aware that thoughts are only an imaginary reality which exists only as long as we permit thoughts to arise in our head. It is important this understanding, (that the things we think are not a reality but only imagination), to become strong and steady and be implanted in our deeper consciousness (chitta); that's why the repetition of this contemplation for long time is needed. Otherwise our ego will deceive us very easily and make us identify with thoughts, especially thoughts related to our self-image and pleasure.
By this contemplative questioning we will realize also that the supposed external real world exists for us as long as we think about it. A steady knowledge and conviction that the world is unreal and the only reality is Consciousness (Atman, Brahman, God, Spirit...) is the foundation of Self-realization.
We must do this contemplative questioning every time that thoughts arise in our mind without our volition (which happens most of the time).
In order not to deceive ourselves by thinking that we want to entertain these thoughts it is necessary to have a task. For example when we start from our home to go to job we decide that we will remain concentrated to the breathing, to a mantra etc. Since we have decide this, then all thoughts that appear in our mind it is not our choice but our daydreaming. Then every time that arise thoughts we must apply this contemplative questioning.
We must practice this willingly until it becomes a habit.
The advantage of this 'technique' is that we don't try to stop thinking forcefully, but this happens naturally because we take the energy and our attention from the thinking process and we put it into the questioning and its silent contemplation.
This 'technique' is also important because help us realize that the thoughts are not a reality but only our imaginary world as well as that the world is unreal, because when we don't think about the world and we gather our attention inside into our true Self the world doesn't exist for us.
The only 'thing we cannot avoid is our Self (Consciousness) which is the only reality. Our true Self or Consciousness, is real because never ceases to be. It is ever present, unchanging, limitless, infinite, timeless, formless, causeless, and ever peaceful and blissful!
By being aware of it is up to us if we want to live in imagination or not. We always have to decide what is more important to us, reality or imagination.