Mindfulness, Autopilot, and Endless Thinking

Even the most intelligent, witty, and likeable companion would become unbearable if I had to listen to them talk for a few hours. Yet, when it comes to the endless chatter coming from my brain this somehow manages to keep me hooked – even though it is often unintelligible, boring, and irritating. In this video and podcast, I discuss how mindfulness has helped me become less enthralled with this endless thinking.

Press play to watch the YouTube video. You will find the podcast of this episode below:

Press play to listen to the podcast:

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5 thoughts on “Mindfulness, Autopilot, and Endless Thinking

  1. Thanks for this. Once again, you may as well be writing just for me. My internal chatter is often exhausting and I did use a variety of ways to disconnect it. Fortunately,I’ve discovered that stopping the thoughts was not working for me and was in fact leading me deeper and deeper into dispair. I have been meditating for about a year now. Through this, I’ve learnt that I am always thinking about many things at once but few things deeply.I try now to slow down and to think of one thing at a time. So, if I am reading, I can think of the story and not my shopping list, the problem at work, and my ailing love life. It does really seem like I just need the mental quiet. Recently, I was meditating with sound and then it occured to me how noisy things were and how I am craving the peace and quiet. It is taking me significant practice however to stop me from always returning to auto-pilot as I quite quickly revert. Thanks once again for your writing and podcasts.

    1. Hi Paul, you are right about the internal chatter being exhausting, but trying to stop the noise didn’t work for me either. I’ve had the same experience with alcohol, I couldn’t beat it so my only hope was to stop fighting it. Once I gained insight into how little alcohol was doing for me, I because disillusioned with it, and the need to drink just fell away. I feel the same process is happening with thinking. By mindfully observing the junk floating around in there, it is quickly losing its appeal.

      It’s interesting what you say about silence. I’ve avoided silence for most of my life – I’ve always had at least some music playing in the background – but maybe a huge part of this is getting comfortable with the silence.

  2. Thanks for this, Paul, it hit home for me as well… I especially connected with what you were saying about being able to be in a seemingly boring room over and over but still seeing something new every time you’re there. You reminded me of a time when I was practicing a lot of mindfulness, I remember being able to be anywhere and be fascinated by my surroundings, by life. Thank you for this, it’s been a rough many years since that time, I felt as though it was a magic period of my life for many more reasons than you mentioned, I experienced a fall from grace/mindfulness due to the fear of my ego/thinking that it was going to die if I continued on the path I was on. Ironic though that at that time I was more alive with less of an ego hold. My mind, or rather my attachment to its importance, as you say, has really dragged me through a lot of hardship since then. Lately my attachment to my thinking has been causing me to lose s lot of sleep and on top of missing out on a lot of life and living it’s causing me to be exhausted and suffer. Just want to thank you again, mate, for the oasis you’ve hinted at here, I feel the same way as the other Paul who commented. I so easily revert to focusing primarily on my thinking, it really had felt out of my control for most of my life… like I’m at the mercy of my mind

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