The first question:
I have been thinking all day of a way to ask the question: How to stop thinking?
Thinking cannot be stopped. Not that it does not stop, but it cannot be stopped. It stops of its own accord. This distinction has to be understood, otherwise you can go mad chasing your mind.
No-mind does not arise by stopping thinking. When the thinking is no more, no-mind is. The very effort to stop will create more anxiety, it will create conflict, it will make you split. You will be in a constant turmoil within. This is not going to help.
And even if you succeed for a few moments in stopping it forcibly, it is not an achievement at all – because those few moments will be almost dead, they will not be alive. You may feel a sort of stillness, but not silence, because a forced stillness is not silence. Underneath it, deep in the unconscious, the repressed mind goes on working.
So, there is no way to stop the mind. But the mind stops, that is certain. It stops of its own accord.
So what to do? Your question is relevant. Watch – don’t try to stop. There is no need to do any action against the mind. In the first place, who will do it? It will be mind fighting mind itself. You will divide your mind into two: one that is trying to boss over – the top dog – trying to kill the other part of itself, which is absurd. It is a foolish game. It can drive you crazy. Don’t try to stop the mind or the thinking – just watch it, allow it. Allow it total freedom. Let it run as fast as it wants. You don’t try in any way to control it. You just be a witness. It is beautiful!
Mind is one of the most beautiful mechanisms. Science has not yet been able to create anything parallel to mind. Mind still remains the masterpiece – so complicated, so tremendously powerful, with so many potentialities. Watch it. Enjoy it!
And don’t watch like an enemy, because if you look at the mind like an enemy, you cannot watch. You are already prejudiced; you are already against. You have already decided that something is wrong with the mind – you have already concluded. And whenever you look at somebody as an enemy you never look deep, you never look into the eyes. You avoid.