“What comes out of an orange when you squeeze it? Orange juice. Why? Because that is what is inside. When you get squeezed – that is, when someone applies pressure on you – what comes out? Stress? Anger? Hatred? Fear? Frustration? Is it because of your boss? Never. Is it because of your mother? Your children? What comes out of you is always what is inside. It has nothing to do with the rest of the world. How does it get there? Only as you think.”
You don’t have to be disagreeable when you disagree. Getting hateful and angry when encountering someone who doesn’t share your beliefs is a sign that you have complete identification with your thoughts. But your thoughts are just that – your thoughts.
Taking a good picture with a manual camera requires forethought, patience and careful calibration. You choose what you take a picture of – that is, you choose what you focus on.
You also choose what you focus to think about. There is new scientific data that shows people who choose to meditate and/or think positively have increased plasticity of their brains. That is, they have strong external and internal networks in their brains. External networks light up when people think about external tasks and internal networks refer to matters that “involve themselves or emotions.”
Buddhist monks meditate and direct their minds to think compassionate thoughts and positive reflections. They purposely think this way.
Jill Bolte Taylor, a brain scientist who ironically, suffered a brain hemorrhage. It (temporarily) disabled her ability for language and logic. With that, she was left with a dominant right hemisphere brain: creativity, intuition and imagination. She was happy. She was completely present and non-judgmental. All her thinking (and worrying) ceased. She had no negative thoughts! As her left brain recovered, she made up her mind (haha) to never go back. She chooses to think happy thoughts and to be blissful.
How do you do this?
Bolte Taylor says, “When you find yourself thinking negatively, it feels bad in your body. As soon as you feel it happening, think about something else!”