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The resolution of confusion won’t be found in thought.

29 Mar 2024

When a decision isn’t clear cut, it can often be because thought is getting involved. The voices of other people echo in the mind and argue with each other.

We’re so used to worrying about the opinions of others that we listen to those voices too. We tend to take these internal voices as our own simply because they speak in first person.

You don’t need another video, another podcast, another opinion adding yet another internal voice adding to the cacophony that already overwhelm and confuse you.

Just sit quietly and notice the entirety of ordinary experience in this moment. The sound of the ambience, the sensation of clothes on the body, lingering smells in the air, the texture of a thought. Let the thoughts be there, just don’t grab and follow them. They’re just echoes. Treat them like you’d treat a radio playing an uninteresting talk show in the background — neither fighting it nor giving it your full attention.

Paying attention to all of experience like this brings attention out of the narrow focus of argumentative, confusing thoughts, and it begins to feel like more of the mind comes online. Don’t grab on to thoughts, be vigilant for the ones that chase comfort — they can be especially convincing. No need to push them away, just notice that you don’t have to grab onto them.

This practice unwinds the tendency to value thoughts more than the rest of your mind — the part that operates outside of language. It doesn’t make thoughts go away, it just loosens the belief in their superiority.

Sometimes what’s revealed is that you always knew what to do, it was only an ephemeral thought that argued otherwise.

Sit like this until the answer comes, clearly and undeniably.

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Jordan West

Sydney, Australia

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