I know, maybe at first “thought control” doesn’t sound very “transcendent.”
But think about it.
I have a friend who, once when I was “I should have (done) this” and “I should have (done) that” told me that I spent way too much time “Shoulding” all over myself.
And my favorite thing about yoga is that we do what we can, that day, and observe. No self talk, no judgment, no comparison with the person next to us or what we did yesterday. (Well, that’s what we’re supposed to do. I’m better at it in yoga than in other areas of my life. DEFinitely better at it than that loser in the back that can’t even reach his toes.)(Sigh.)
This kind of observation coupled with uncritical awareness is actually what I try to do when practicing to learn a new piece. Observe what happened, how it felt, how it sounded, decide if I liked it (in which case I “take a picture” and try to do it that way again) or if I didn’t (think of a different way to try it, latherrinserepeat). I’m really pretty good at this. Maybe because I get so much practice at it (pun just a little wee bit intended).
But seriously, there is probably nothing that has more to do with our ability to find contentment with ourselves, our lives as what thoughts we harbor: let in, listen to, validate by the mere act of holding them for more than a moment. The thoughts we let direct our feelings about ourselves, our lives, our relationships, what we should have done instead of recognizing and accepting that we probably did the best we could do at the time, etc.
So this, again from Liz Gilbert, addressing unhealthy thoughts she will no longer harbor, mildly paraphrased by me:
You hard and abusive thoughts may no longer come here; ships of slaves, of thoughts wanting to make war, you will be turned away. Likewise you ships filled with angry or starving exiles, with malcontents and pamphleteers. . .you may not come here anymore, either. Cannibalistic thoughts, for obvious reasons, will no longer be received. Even missionaries will be screened carefully, for sincerity. This is a peaceful harbor, the entryway to a fine and proud island that is only now beginning to cultivate tranquility. If you can abide by these new laws, my dear thoughts, then you are welcome in my mind–otherwise, I shall turn you all back toward whence you came.
This is not to say that I can keep these thoughts from forming. But I don’t need to harbor them. I will choose not to harbor them. I will try very hard not to harbor them.
They can just sail right by, thankyouverymuch.