f I had told my novice master in 1961 that I wasn’t going to fight my distractions, he would have said, “So you’re going to entertain lustful or hateful thoughts?” But that would have largely missed the point. The real learning curve happens when you can admit that you’re having a thought or feeling and see that it’s empty, passing, and part of your own fantasy world that has no final reality except as a lesson.
Listen honestly to yourself. Listen to whatever thought or feeling arises. Listen long enough to ask, “Why am I thinking this? What is this saying about me that I need to entertain this negative, accusatory, or lustful thought?”
You don’t have to hate yourself or condemn your self for a thought or feeling, but you do have to let it yield its wisdom. Then you will see it is the wounded or needy part of you that wants these unhealthy thoughts. The Whole You, your True Self, does not need them, and will not identify with them.
If you can allow your thoughts and feelings to pass through you, neither clinging to them nor opposing them-and without ever expecting perfect success I promise that you will come to a deeper, wider, and wiser place. Believe it or not, even your inability to fully succeed is, in itself, another wonderful lesson. – Richard Rohr