Right Thinking means Right View. Our thinking comes from our view. And Right View means seeing the interbeing nature of all that is, seeing the impermanent nature and non-self nature of all that is, seeing that self is made of non-self elements.
Right Thinking is also being aware of impermanence. There is a sentence that I use when I get caught into thinking. "The things are going to stay like this forever." When I find myself in a situation that I find difficult, I tell myself, "This too will pass." And this gives me energy. I'm no longer lost in despair.
Right Thinking is also an expression of non-self. To know that happiness is not an individual matter. When my sister is not happy, I can not be happy however hard I try. Somehow, her pain is my pain although I don't want to accept that. But my experience is that I can not be really happy.
4 questions to ask to ourselves (given by Thay):
1) Are you sure?
2) What am I doing?
3) Hello, habit energy!
4) To generate the mind of love, the deep wish to cultivate the understanding and compassion
Whatever I'm doing, my physical actions always bring my mind back to my body. And when I find myself being carried away by some very exciting thought, (but in the end it's not so exciting at all), I can let it go and come back to my training to bring the mind home to the body. In that way, we develop. You need so appropriate attention. And we will have peace and calm to look deeply to see the non-self and impermanent nature of all that is. That is Right Thinking. So, let's start by practicing becoming aware of our daily thinking. That may be the door to Right Thinking.
"Right Thinking means Right View." is a good expression. That's because this is possible through non-thinking. (Namely, Right View ⇒ (non-thinking) ⇒ Right Speech and Right Action) In other words, Right Thinking means non-thinking. That's why Right View can be directly the basis of Right Speech and Right Action, without passing through Thinking process. So, Right View must be directly linked to the senses without passing through feelings and perceptions.
Right View means insight (understanding). Only if we are mindful and concentrated, we can attain insight. In other words, only if we return to our true self by stopping thinking, we can attain Right View (insight) by looking deeply (concentration). The following is the whole picture.
stop thinking ⇒ return to true self ⇒ mindfulness ⇒ look deeply (concentration) ⇒ insight (understanding) ⇒ love and compassion ⇒ transformation⇒ peace ⇒ joy and happiness
Image of insight