Train of Thoughts
Imagine standing at a train station. You're watching all the trains come and go. They stop, open the doors, wait for you to jump on the train, then go to their destination.
This is how living works. This is how thoughts work. Exactly like this.
Here you are, standing on life's platform. You see a train of thoughts coming by. You feel compelled to jump on it. You do. Because that's what you've always done. You jump on the train and let it take you to its destination.
This is what happens when you take the train to Bingeville.
There you are. Standing on life's platform. And then the food-thought-train comes by. What do you do? Well, if you're used to always take this train, you'll inevitably take it. First, you'll be all excited. "Yay! I made it! I was afraid I'd be late and miss the train. Whew. Close call". But then, after a while, you realize it's the same old train. You've actually taken it before. And now when you think about it, you don't like this destination. The destination is Bingeville. It's a place of suffering. It's a place of darkness and despair. You've been there many times, and every time it's "Hotel California" all over again. "F*ck. How did I not see it? How did I take this same train again?".
Here's another scenario.
You're standing on life's platform. You see a train of thoughts coming by. You see where the destination is. You see it clearly. It's actually spelled out at the front of the train. It says "Bingeville. A place of suffering". This time, you also notice the old guy on the platform. He has a huge megaphone, and he's yelling "Next train goes to the Land of Overeating. The land of darkness and binging. A place of suffering and feelings of hopelessness. If you wanna feel like crap, hop on. Last call!".
This time you stand there and have clarity.
Total clarity. You have full awareness. You are conscious. Because this time you've been practicing mindfulness. You've been meditating, and you've been learning a new skill. You've been learning to notice. To see. To have awareness. And this time, when the train of food-thoughts come by you have full consciousness. This time, you start looking around the platform. You see that there are lots and lots of thought-trains. They come, and they go. You've seen most of them before now when you come to think about it. Hey, look at that train of thought. It says "Life's hard!". Every time you've jumped on that train, it has taken you to the land of struggle. A place where everything is met with resistance and fight. You're at war with life and with yourself. Ugh.
This time, you see that all these trains are just trains of thoughts.
You see that these trains are going to places you've been before but never liked. You come to see that these trains of thoughts never lead to peaceful places. They always lure you in with fanfare and balloons. "Hey, party time over here! This train of thought is going to the land of dreams and wishes. Hop on!". The times you've taken that train, it seems to end up in the land of "could be." "Oh, look! This is how your life could have been like, but it's not". Ugh. It leaves you feeling like you are living someone else's life and you do not like that person.
This time though, you stand still.
You see all these trains. But you choose not to take any of them. Not even the one that says "Happily ever after." Yeah, not even that one. You stand exactly where you are and calmly take the witness perspective. You are the observer. You watch all the trains come and go. And then suddenly something unexpected happens. The trains fade away, and you start looking around yourself. You start seeing things differently. You start seeing reality, your platform a.k.a your life, just as it is. Right in this very moment. There you are. Standing in the middle of your own life. Exactly as it's supposed to be. Exactly as it is.
Looking closely you also start to notice the people in your life.
You see them exactly as they are. You notice that this place, the present moment, is vast. You see suddenly that there are mountains and a never ending horizon. You see stars. You see oceans and birds flying over your head. You see the sun shining and warming your face. You see life as it is and weirdly, this place, makes so much sense. It fills you with gratitude and peace.
It fills you with love.
Standing still and being with whatever arises is this. It's observing all the trains of thoughts that come and go and choosing not to buy a ticket. Noticing that trains of thoughts will only pull you out of reality. That train of thoughts will in the end always take you to the land of suffering.
Standing still means having full awareness.
Being the observer. It means you notice when a train comes by and you do not jump on it out of old habit. Instead, you relax into the present moment. You take a deep breath and open your eyes and heart to the landscape around you. Right here. Right now. It means relaxing into the beauty of what is already in your life.
It means, loving what is.