What exactly are usless thoughts? To my mind, pun intended, they are thinking that is repetitive, nagging, nasty, focussed only on past grievances and future expectations. In other words, these nonproductive thoughts are not utilizing our wonderful brain power to enhance our understanding and enjoyment of the present. Useful thoughts are those that solve problems and initiate creativity.
In our Zenwest chanting “Affirming Faith Mind” the words “Cut off all useless thoughts and words and there’s no where you cannot go. Returning to the root itself you’ll find the meaning of all things.” To seek our source we only need to look where it is. Here now.
Rumi wisely wrote, “The quieter you become the more you are able to hear.” When the workings of our sense organ the mind become a chatter box of past woes and future worries there is no space at all for the openings, the wisdom and the presence that is always here in this moment, right now. The joy of being alive is deadened by words trying to describe and experience that which can only be experienced.
“Affirming Faith Mind” continues with “Just let go now of clinging mind and things are just as they are. In essence nothing goes or stays. Be one with the nature of things and you’re in step with the great way thus walking freely, undisturbed.” The chant goes on to cherishing opinions of right and wrong and good and bad. This is more monkey mind and words away from the essence of the present moment which cannot be described with words.
Not caught in the mental meanderings of the mind we can be present for the mystery and wonder of each moment.