Clouds and Thoughts and How we Choose to See Them

Clouds and Thoughts and How we Choose See Them

There are times when clouds look majestic and fanciful and other times when they look ominous and threatening.
As a long time meditator I have often compared clouds to thoughts. Some thoughts are friendly, uplifting and fun.
For example when things are going my way I feel like I am on a proverbial “Cloud 9." 
Other thoughts are strange and downright terrifying. This is when it seems everything that can go wrong “will” go wrong.
As human beings we prefer clouds we like over those we don’t like. It is the same with thoughts. We embrace the thoughts that make us feel good and resist the ones that make us feel badly.

One of my meditation teachers, Gil Fronsdale, at the Insight Meditation Center in Redwood City, CA once told us that when he was growing up in Norway, his father told him: “Now Gil, your mind is going to come up with a lot of crazy thoughts. Don’t believe them!”

In other words, just like clouds, thoughts are variable, transient and impermanent. Trying to make a dark cloud go away is as futile as trying to make a dark, scary thought disappear. Just as we can’t control our thoughts, we can’t control the weather. The best strategy is to patiently wait it out. As the song in Little Ophan Annie goes: “The sun will come out, tomorrow….” 

In the meantime, take these wonderful clouds for what they are—expressions of atmospheric moods, Nature’s artistry and poetry in flight.

Photos: I Took these photos in and around our neighborhood in Los Gatos, CA