Note: the blue italics indicates the teacher, in black other participants.

Which thoughts to trash?

What thoughts need to be immediately thrown in the trash (or dismissed) when they arise?

Trash thoughts: all labels that are supposed to “define” a person, whether negative or positive. I replace them with an open and benevolent gaze. All thoughts like: “it’s too good to be true,” self-blame, self-deprecation… Negative and fatalistic generalizations about the world, which I replace with discernment about specific elements.

What needs to be dismissed immediately: all negative thoughts whether self-demeaning or judgmental, about myself or others. And also seemingly positive thoughts that are just pipe dreams, for example hoping the situation is different from what it is. Thoughts that refer to the past and future also belong in the trash (except if they are for example necessary for functional organization). In short all thoughts that don’t come from the heart! I’ve tested different ways to free myself from these thoughts, not necessarily effective; and now I dismiss them with a wave of the hand as if they were an insistent fly: they come back much less, and sometimes not at all. To be urgently dismissed, everything that feeds and empowers the ego: every negative thought, fear, doubt, judgment, assumptions, anger, revenge, reference to the past, emotional blackmail, psychological games, power games, pretense, “I know it all,” “I should have…”, guilt…. everything that distracts from the heart and cuts me off from my true self, from unconditional love.

The question has been on my mind for a few days. Letting an answer emerge from the heart, it became very clear that what is needed is to “filter” with the heart. In other words, each time a somewhat automatic thought arrives (and is not part of a useful intellectual process like planning a task), check if it comes from the heart, and if not, let it pass like a cloud or throw it in the trash. In fact, it dissolves by itself as soon as it is recognized or sometimes, it simply takes on a different shape. And I recognize that I am far from applying this every time, but the question helps anchor this approach and make an existential decision to systematically filter through the heart.

From my experience any limiting thought, that is, one that brings doubt with an emotion, must be dismissed as soon as possible (not to be confused with “factual” doubt, stemming from proper use of the mind controlled by the heart). Otherwise this emotion, described as negative, spreads through the body and reinforces the limiting thought. I could also say that a limiting thought is a thought stemming from an identity mechanism intended to produce useless suffering in order to avoid useful suffering.

When I notice a toxic thought, I reject it immediately. Sometimes I literally have to say “stop!” It doesn’t always work, but more and more often. Toxic thoughts are those that make me “stick” to the past, for example, and prevent me from opening up to the surprise of the present moment. This is particularly the case with negative memories, but also those that create a certain expectation.

The first thing that came to mind when I read this question is doubt. Yet a few years ago, doubt was a companion and even an essential tool to challenge some of my behaviors and, thanks to it, uncover some of my identity mechanisms, reveal a secretly selfish secondary interest, bring to light an inevitably arrogant pretense, dig up certain deep roots nourishing the chimera I think I am… Today, it is clear to me that doubt coldly restricts the field of possibilities. It kills in the egg certain futures bearing surprises, astonishment, mystery, the unknown, innovation, creativity… It also kills the possibility of questioning rigid mental patterns. By excluding the unexpected it locks my perception of the world, impoverishes my participation in the flow of life. It closes me off where I need to be open and receptive. Doubt keeps me in the comfort of the known and deprives me of exposing myself to mystery, loss of bearings, what is greater than me, the unthinkable. In doing so it prevents me from taking any inner risk, from exposing myself, from making mistakes, from radically questioning myself again, from deeply touching necessary suffering… and from exhuming certain deep roots nourishing the chimera I think I am. The second thing, in my case, that it is essential to immediately expose and dismiss: anything that contributes to procrastination. It is a real poison. Its primary anesthetizing effect leads to an almost pleasant submission to the deviant authority of identity. It is a consented loss of freedom, a denial of oneself, of the life that animates me and calls me to participate in its unfolding. And to which I oppose an inexcusable inertia. It is cowardly betting on a hypothetical, ever-fleeting future, a pretty pretext for not taking responsibility. The other poisoned gift I dismiss as soon as it appears: the inner cinema I project onto myself. The stories I tell myself where I replay an event or continue it in a totally fictitious way. And where I take on an inevitably enhancing role, imbued with a strong emotion like anger, revenge, false compassion,… it’s a self-hypnosis which then leaves inappropriate emotional imprints that can accompany me once I’m back to reality! As soon as I realize this inner wandering, I cut the projection short and return to my body, with internal sensations and perception of my immediate environment.

First of all, what seems useful to recall is to deal with the functional, including money, without emotions, in a detached way. That said, in my opinion everything that weighs us down, that is linked to an emotional charge (even potential) must be thrown in the trash: thinking about an illness we have or had (but doing what is necessary to remedy it), thinking about pain of all kinds (physical, emotional), thinking about present, past or future burdens, thinking about unpleasant events from the past or present, thinking about the catastrophic consequences of a hypothetical future event (not to be confused with taking unforeseen events or obstacles into account in functional anticipation), ruminating, thinking about times we’ve been duped, thoughts related to injustice thoughts related to fear. dark/negative/evil thoughts (revenge etc.), The essential thing is to reject/dismiss all this at the very moment it occurs (vigilance). Otherwise, these thoughts can become a real tidal wave, and falsehood invades us. Falsehood by nature tries everything to convince us it’s true…