Words, words, words. We think a lot. In the modern world, we are deluged by data, by information, by knowledge. What we are not deluged with is wisdom.
We are really good at thinking. In school, we are taught to value the verbal, the quick, the clever. That emphasis on conceptuality has paid off in the form of greater knowledge and greater well-being for many people. But it may be that we are so good at thinking, and we are so used to using that one tool to solve everything we encounter, that other ways of knowing have atrophied.
When we sit down to meditate, what do we see? Thoughts, lots of them. Who knew there were so many of them? Not only that, but we see how solid our thoughts are, and how harmful some thoughts can be. But we can shift our relationship to our thoughts.
Thoughts have a way of taking hold of us, but we don’t have to believe everything we think. A thought is just a thought. What really changes things is when we begin to tune in to the movements of mind, to thinking itself. When we hold steady as thoughts come and go, arise and dissolve, we begin to access a different kind of knowing.
What happens then is amazing. The very thoughts and concepts that held such sway over us begin to point us to the nonconceptual and vast open space from which they appeared and to which they return. As thoughts dissolve like clouds, we are left with the clear blue sky.