An observation of the mind

Today I sat. I sat alone. I sat for 30 minutes. It was cold. I sat in a park. While sitting on a park bench, alone, I did not think. And when I found myself thinking, I became aware that I was thinking. This awareness allowed me to return to the state of not thinking again. Just being. It was an odd thing. People ran past me as I sat on a bench in the park. Three, four, five times they ran past me as they ran loops around the park. I continued to sit. Sit and stare. Not thinking. Just being.

At a certain point, maybe once a runner had circled past me for the third time, one thought entered my mind that was so powerful that it almost took control of me.

This was the thought:

What would these people running past me think of me, just sitting here like this, not doing anything, just staring into the distance? Would they think I am insane?

And that thought led to this thought:

Well, I am sitting here, alone, with a half-smile on my face, in the cold, just staring. They must think I am insane. This is surely what an insane person would do.

And that thought began to make me feel uneasy; it made me want to do something; it made me want to act on the thought; to prove I was not insane. And so, that thought led to this thought:

What if they think I am insane? I don’t want them to think I am insane. I’m not insane. Maybe I should do something sane?

And that thought led to this thought:

Maybe if I get my phone out of my pocket they will see I am not insane. That I am doing something, here on my phone. That I am doing sane people stuff.

And this is the point, or the thought if you like, at which I caught myself thinking. I was able to observe the thoughts in my mind, almost like I had a bird’s eye view of the thinker in my head. From my bird’s eye vantage point I could see the thinker running around aimlessly, constantly changing directions, in a frantic panic, loose papers flying everywhere. Witnessing the insanity of the thinker from this point of view made me laugh (literally). And then once again I returned to not thinking. Once again I was still. The phone stayed in my pocket. And I continued to stare. Red, brown, yellow, green leaves falling from the trees all around me. Squirrels digging into the dirt for nuts, and scurrying up trees. A gentle breeze blowing.

Beautiful. Peaceful.

Why would I want to escape that moment? That would be insane.

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