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Take It Easy

I admit it-- I didn't give The Eagles the credit they deserved, in their early days. My bad, but better late than never-- they were a tremendous band, and they created some great music. They also wrote some incredible lyrics.

Case in point: "Don't let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy"-- what an important reminder! But what, exactly, are our "wheels"? And what's the "sound" they're making? For us meditators, the wheels are our mind, and the sounds they make are our thoughts.

The trick is to not let those thoughts "drive you crazy"-- how best to do that? For me, the answer is meditation, which allows me to observe my thoughts, without judging them and without attaching a particular outcome or result to them. Simply observing them, then letting them pass.

That may sound naive-- even impossible-- to some but with training (time on the cushion), it's definitely possible. And, given the impermanence of things, it's really important to learn the skill of letting go. Learning lessons, and incorporating what we've learned in our conduct, going forward? Check. Hanging on to negative emotions that don't have any useful lessons? Nyet.

The mind is part of who we are and the thoughts it thinks are, for the most part, beyond our control. We can, however, control our responses to those thoughts-- and a response is much different than a reaction.

The sound of our own wheels is something we can all be curious about-- something we should all understand. But we can't let those sounds control our behavior. We certainly can't let it drive us "crazy".


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