There are two kinds of work: necessary and unnecessary. Can I refrain from unnecessary work? Refrain comes from the Latin word for bridle. Can I refrain from unnecessary speech? It’s not so easy.
We go to the movies to see something go wrong. We enjoy watching the characters in the movie work things out. If nothing went wrong, there’d be no movie. No laughing. No crying.
“What is the nature of the search?” you ask. Really it is very simple; at least for a fellow like me. So simple that it is easily overlooked. The search is what anyone would undertake if he were not sunk in the everydayness of his own life.” Walker Percy
The unobserved mind is a shameless opportunist. It’s alert to and dismayed by your discovery that the more you think, the more fearful you become. So it hustles right over and says, “Less thinking? That’s a wonderful idea! Let me help you with that.”
The breath is our most important biological function. It is also our best ally in breaking the thought habit. We breath 22,000 times per day. Most of these breaths are unconscious—that is, we don’t notice them. A conscious breath, a breath we notice, stops the mind. Which is amazing! The mind cannot do two things at once. It can either think like crazy or notice that the body is breathing. Yes, you’re right. Minus the treats, it’s like training a dog.
First do this: Witness the adrenalized mind, noting its panicked zigzaggery, how it darts about like a squirrel in traffic. And then what? And then nothing. To see it is to settle it.