Before you start to play with thoughts...
It's just a thought...and,
...it will pass away. Before you can play with this thought there is an important reality to consider. Thoughts tend to organize themselves into stories, memes, identities and universalized judgments. If you were to record your thoughts during any given hour you would see that a number of story lines are present. Your housekeeping thoughts will have an element of "I need to do this—whatever it is—well to prove my worth to my mother (or father, or spouse, or children, or teacher, or boss, etc.)". Your thoughts about others will develop definite story lines. "I know just what this person will do or say next because they have done and said it so many times before." And, most significantly, we believe these thoughts to be true—absolutely. They have a life of their own, and they often own our lives.
How we typically relate to these thoughts is an example of attachment. The stories and looped narratives we develop become a part of our identity. "It's all about me" is the way we sum up our belief that all these thought stories are true, define who we are, and express an accurate assessment of our lives and the world around us. Why else would we rehearse over and over again an imagined conversation with a neighbor, say, regarding a perceived slight during a chat at the mailbox yesterday? Why else would we lose sleep over an event in the past (or future) over which we have no control. (I am not talking here about obvious real threats or hurts or conflicts, these do exist. I am talking about the many, many thoughts we harbor that are largely self-constructed.)
Before, then, we can "play" with our thoughts, we need to recognize their generally attached and conditioned nature. They are just thoughts, and will pass away. But, I don't simply want to get rid of these thoughts. I wish to handle them as they arise with wisdom. So, I first acknowledge that they are just thoughts, and then recognize that they have an "attached" nature.
Next up...playing with thoughts as friends.
The images here are a sneak preview of Thursday's collection. For now we can entitle this triptych "Three views of the same flower".