What shall we do with our Rumination?
Like a dog driven by a lingering scent to gnaw on a bone, devoid of all visible particles of flesh, our mind can return to a problem again and again; as if haunted by memory, desire, fantasy, and quite often confabulation. The three pound supercomputer between our ears could return to its conundrum again and again seeking a way to have avoided a past problem, or resolved it, or to simply rail against the injustice of it all. The worst thing we can do is ignore our rumination or attempt to figuratively tear the reins out of its strong hands.
Have you seen the videos of a great big bull dog playing on a skate board? We can do something very similar. We could make the most of the mental momentum initiated by our rumination through the cunning use of rhetorical questions (inspired by the Buddha’s teachings) such as: “How THIS hating, quite stressful?” “How THIS craving quite stressful?” “How THIS vying quite stressful?” “How THIS clinging stressful?” “How is dependent?” “How could THIS always change?” and finally, “How could THIS not be me?”
And just a dog could coast on his skate board after achieving the desired momentum, likewise, after we have spent a portion of our ruminating energy on the rhetorical questions, we could rest our mind with the following meditation, “Notice this… relaxing!” After several circuits of this, our tendency to ruminate might not have been excised, but we could have harnessed at least a portion of its momentum to feed our peace.
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