Peter Tyler quotes a phrase from Teresa of Avila describing distracting thoughts as ‘restless bees’ that ‘gad about’ ( Peter Tyler, Teresa of Avila: Doctor of the Soul (London: Bloomsbury, 2013), 86).
Thoughts are like restless bees, and like bees they can be calmed. With bees it is the fearless presence of the beekeeper, and the use of calming smoke.
With thoughts it is the fearless calming presence of awareness which holds all thoughts and feelings. Thoughts like bees can sting and swarm, especially when our fear mind is activated. We find the place of calming awareness which is not held by fear through mindful awareness or meditative practices.
Instead of becoming a victim of our thought bees, we become a witness to them. Experiencing them intimately but not becoming them, not becoming the swarm, not stirring them up to sting. In that place of awareness they cease being restless, instead they find their purpose – in making the honey of creativity, compassion, love, right action and seeing clearly.