Imagine you are looking out of a window at a busy road with countryside in the background. When I do this exercise with someone I tell them that this is their mind. There goes a car (thought), you see a cloud passing slowly (an emotion), a tree is blowing in the wind (a feeling), all passing through the scene (your mind) at different speeds.
We do not choose for a particular car (thought) to come into our minds, it just appears and then it is up to us to decide what we do with it. For the untrained mind, the thought takes control. The ‘car’ drives us ’round the block’ of our minds, entertaining us with negativity, anger, pain, regret and/or sorrow. It is when this is happening, that we are truly locked into an invisible prison that all of our senses are oblivious to.
We do not choose the majority of thoughts that come into our heads. The only choice we have is what to do with that thought once it is there. To tell yourself not to think about something is still resisting and in turn, gives that thought life. Not thinking of pink elephants is a prime example.
The trick is to simply observe and purge. ‘Oh, I’m thinking this negative thought, that’s ok, it is not mine, and now I choose to let it go.’
Negative attachment is still attachment!
I discovered that by using the words ‘I don’t know’ to EVERYTHING that came into my head be it thought, song, discussion, argument, anything… that my mind eventually quietened. At the beginning was resistance. My brain double and trebled the amount of noise, and in turn, I had to use ‘I don’t know’ in excess of 100 times a minute! But eventually things just calmed, the frequency of thoughts and songs etc became less as I worked toward a lasting quietness.
Many religions talk of the dropping of the mind, the most obvious being Buddhism. The symbolism of using animal heads for deity in Hinduism is also connected to the concept of thinking less. Variances of this can be found in Jewish mysticism and the Koran speaks of war against the incessant chatter of the ‘small mind’.
Prayer is the act of bowing down to place the small mind (ego) below the heart. We walk around all day with our heads above our hearts.
To survive in this world many of us have to live in our heads, there is little to no room for feeling or coping in an academic environment, in business, or in the hubbub of everyday life. This is why it is so important to take time out each day and cultivate a sense of inner peace within one’s self.
Meditate for 20 minutes each day, unless you don’t have time, in which case meditate for an hour!
We are not the mind and we are not the body. Many of us spend our lives running here and there chasing materialistic things that, when looked at in the bigger picture are so inconsequential. Yet here we are getting hit by the media and advertising thousands of times per day.
There is no such thing as an opposite to spirituality, but if there were it would be advertising. One tells you that your happiness depends on what you already have, while the other tells you that your happiness depends on what you don’t (what they are trying to sell you)!