Endless Thinking

Moments of No Thought


There are many times in our lives when we have moments of no thought in the immediacy of the present moment - although they are very often not recognised in the mind as such.

The recognition is not there because it is non-conceptual.

The mind can handle thought objects including concepts but cannot 'grasp' the formless. What has occurred is normally very quickly covered over by thought.

It is easy to recall so-called 'peak experiences' but there are many, many times every day when there is only Awareness in the present moment, without thought. These are often small events - sometimes half a second or less - not enough to really notice at a mental level.

Seeing a beautiful sunset, or a magnificent tree, or an amazing crystal, or a wildly rough ocean, or a new morning. On occasions like this it is easier to notice times of 'no thought'.

Perhaps suddenly fully seeing something that you have driven past for years. Or looking at how much change (money in coins) you have in your hand. Perhaps suddenly noticing that there is no toilet paper there - a short moment of no thought before the mind rushes in!

Small things - small events - everyday events - but always in the immediacy of the present moment.

There are also many times during the day - perhaps a major proportion - when the entire external world is conceptualised and we relate to internalized concepts almost exclusively. Completely in the mind - the concept of 'me' and the concept of 'you' etc. Krishnamurti used to say "You do not even know your own wife or your husband with whom you have lived for 30 years" All concepts. All metal images.

When you look at a clock it has to be done in the immediacy of the present moment - you cannot use 'yesterday's picture of the clock' - and there is a moment of no thought that occurs with the looking - then it is back into mind. Check that out.

There are times when the egoic mind shuts down - for example when it gets what it wants - there is a time when thought slows down or stops completely until thinking starts again with the next thing that it wants.

You can walk in Nature just being Aware and without thought. This occurs naturally - there is no 'doing' and there is no-one actually 'being aware' - it is Awareness occurring. The mind comes in from time to time "Oh - Yes - the first time I saw this species...." and "Notice how broad the leaves are to collect....".

The moments of Awareness and no thought are always there and almost always not recognised.

Our true nature - our essential nature - our actual nature - is not remote, far away, almost totally buried. It is directly present and directly noticeable every day.

It is good to to notice the small moments of no thought and SEEing (or large moments, whatever they are).

Noticing them as they happen is even better.

Noticing the object, the no-thought and also the Awareness that is SEEing is even better. There is greater depth - a new dimension comes into it.

Directly noticing that which is Aware is even better (subject noticing subject without an object)

The entire spiritual search is about finding out who you really are.

You are the Awareness that is Aware of the object (the trees), Aware of the no-thought and Aware of itself (the subject).

Awareness being Aware of Itself.


Written by Mike Graham, 12 May 2008


Nisargadatta Maharaj

lao tzu



Jiddu Krishnamurti