We usually take ourselves to be the sum of these thoughts, ideas, emotions and body sensations, but there is nothing solid to them. How can we claim to be our thoughts or opinions or emotions or body when they never stay the same?
Teachers often suggest considering your thoughts to be like clouds in the sky. Some are dark and stormy, some are beautiful and fat, while others are wispy and ethereal. Sometimes there are no clouds at all. No matter. Just like clouds in the sky, thoughts pass through your mind. And just like the sky, your mind can contain it all.
This statement by Tara Brach contains the essence of practice: All of our reactions to people, to situations, to thoughts in our mind – are actually reactions to the kind of sensations that are arising in our body.
See if you can practice this today: Notice the sensations in your body, before thinking sets in. Notice how the body reacts to pleasant and unpleasant events or experiences. Stay with fear as a feeling in the body before it gets to thoughts or emotions. Can you allow the sensation just remain a sensation in the body? Can you stop judging your whole life just because of a disturbing feeling in the body?