We can’t stop our thinking, can we?

Q:  We can’t stop our thinking, can we? Or is it our wrong thoughts that ‘obscure the mind’ for us?

A: [Jayasara] In general, it is habitual discursive thinking that can obscure the state of the ‘natural mind’ – which, in its purity, is considered free of conceptual elaborations. However, we can’t just stop our thoughts – they come and go of their own accord. We can temporarily stop thoughts through deep concentration, or samadhi, for a time – but that is only short-term and they always return. What to do then? We have to understand the very nature of thoughts using wisdom and discernment. To see that they are substanceless, ephemeral and not-self. They come from nowhere and they go nowhere. They are merely empty energy blips. When we understand thoughts through deep, direct insight they then pose no problem. The mind turns away from them with disinterest – not through suppression or aversion. Then, whether they appear or don’t appear is not a problem and they do not obscure the natural, empty Awareness that is always present. We don’t pick them up, run with them or identify with them. They remain as they are. Sometimes there, sometimes not – but the ever present state of Awareness knows. And it knows without needing to think. It is this empty cognizance, an intuitive awareness resting in the Heart, that embraces everything and nothing.