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How To Withdraw From Thoughts? – Sadhu Om Answers

We should always be able to withdraw ourself from thoughts. If we are following any train of thoughts and see that it is not leading us anywhere that is conducive to our spiritual progress, we should immediately leave it by bringing our attention back to ourself.

There is a game that children used to play. From a broken mud pot they would make a disc, on top of which they would place a colored piece of paper of the same size and shape. They would then throw the disc up in the air, so up to a certain height it would push the paper, until it began to fall back to earth, whereupon it would leave the paper floating in the air.

As ego, the first thought, we are like the disc, and all other thoughts are like the piece of paper being pushed upwards by the disc. So long as we rise as ego, we allow our attention to go outwards, away from ourself towards other things, so we are thereby pushing thoughts in front of us, like the upward-moving disc pushing the piece of paper. However, as soon as we turn our attention back to ourself, we begin to subside, sinking back within towards the source from which we rose, being drawn back there by the pull of grace, like the disc that has lost its upward momentum and therefore begins to fall back to earth, being drawn back there by the pull of gravity. Just as the falling disc leaves the paper drifting in the air without any support, the inward-sinking ego leaves all other thoughts behind, so without the support of our attention all other thoughts drift away into oblivion.

That is, what impels other thoughts to rise is only the attention we give them, so when we seem to be following any thoughts, we are actually driving them with our attention, like the rising disc pushing the paper upwards. Therefore, when we turn our attention back to face ourself alone, we thereby deprive all other thoughts of our attention, and since they seem to exist only in our awareness, when we thereby cease to be aware of them, they cease to exist.

If other thoughts rise, without trying to complete them it is necessary to investigate to whom they have occurred. However, many thoughts rise, [so] what? Vigilantly, as soon as each thought appears, if one investigates to whom it has occurred, it will be clear: to me. If one investigates, who am I [by vigilantly attending to oneself, the ‘me’ to whom everything else appears], the mind will return to its birthplace [namely oneself, the source from which it arose]; [and since one thereby refrains from attending to it] the thought that had risen will also cease. When one practices and practices in this manner, for the mind the power to stand firmly established in its birthplace increases.