Blog post #10: The power of thoughts

Last week I wrote about the power of community. Mosaique, self-described as “a house in central Lüneburg, a movement and a vision for a peaceful world” for me is a physical space where community building is fostered. They offer all different kinds of activities, projects and events, bringing people across ages, origins and backgrounds together. One workshop I recently attended was about The Work of Byron Katie. Whoever is sometimes carried away by one´s own thoughts, not to say feeling like their slaves as one mistakenly takes them for ‘real’, might find it interesting to give The Work a try (how can be explored here).  

When I experienced this facilitated meditation practice myself, in a room with strangers, it was fascinating to notice the change of atmosphere in the room, going through the four questions:

For introducing us to The Work, by experiencing it ourselves, we were asked to bring back a situation into our mind where we did not feel respected by someone. The facilitator said out loud: “She/he does not respect me.” Thereafter she asked the first question: Is it true? For my case, the situation I recalled, I could actually directly answer ‘no’. As some people answered ‘yes’, the second question was posed: Can you absolutely know it is true? Some who just a minute earlier answered the question with ‘yes’ all of a sudden said ‘no’. No, we cannot be absolutely sure that the other person does not respect us. Question number three delves deeper: What happens if you believe that thought, that the other person does not respect you? I invite you to answer the question for yourself. I, for my part, did not feel fine. I felt sad and irritated, maybe also helpless because I did not know how to communicate in this situation. We participants were invited to say out loud how this thoughts make us feel. Although everybody tought in silence about their own concrete experiences, it was impressive how much I could relate to other people´s statements, to other people´s feelings.

Then came question 4: How would you be without the thought? Instantly people expressed feelings of relief, ease, calmness. The whole vibe of the room changed. Why? Because we noticed the power of our own thoughts.

I do not want to be the slave or victim of my own dark thoughts. I want to shine bright. And I know I can do something for it.

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