A quiet mind is all we need. All else happens rightly, once the mind is still.

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Tossing the Garbage

I can remember, when becoming objectively aware of my mind's content, at being appalled by the endless stream of useless, repetitive thoughts running through my head. The stream was comprised of inane commercial jingles, unsatisfying conversations, worries, regrets, slights (real and imagined), song snippets, daydreams, moral indignation, news headlines, rejection wounds, what ifs, traumatizing events, opinions, preferences, frustrations, wishes, irritations, financial fears, plus the emotional debris the thoughts naturally stirred up.

It struck me how utterly unproductive the thoughts were, other than their ability to create internal drama. I called them my garbage thoughts.

Sometimes I'd break into the thought stream by reading history, or an astonishing piece of literature, or by listening to some Bach, Beethoven, or the Beatles. Sometimes I would purposely contemplate a knotty existential issue or engage in conversation about ideas, but those activities only temporarily crowded out the inane playback loop. What effectively disrupted the loop - and helped me toss its garbage - was simply the impersonal observation, or awareness of it.

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