Relax the active mind
The past is in our memory and the future is a projection of our imagination. Both are thoughts and thus faculties of the mind. The soul does not generate thoughts as the mind does, and so can only be sensed in the present, the Now. The soul is stillness, awareness, consciousness, pure being.
The mind, our useful planner, roams through time, allowing our soul to be in the Now, while it prepares for the future using its experiences of the past. The soul needs the mind to conduct actions. The mind needs the soul to derive purpose. Our actions must be the result of good cooperation and alignment, between all of these players.
The body’s health is a reflection of that alignment. The soul is happy when it’s in the present. The mind derives joy and thoughts of abundance and wealth from its achievements.
A good life is one of health, happiness and wealth.
Living in the Now, without the thoughts of the mind is pure happiness. However, we need the mind to organise our daily lives and to find food and shelter. The mind enables us to connect with others and with the Universe through aligned actions of the body. This is the essence of our life, as we will see later.
So, to paraphrase Descartes, I would say; “I think; therefore I am”, but equally, “I don’t think; therefore I am”. The “I” represents the soul, while the “am” represents the mind.
For the soul to live peacefully in the Now, it must keep some distance from the mind, allowing it to do its task without interfering too much in its course of actions. Just like the CEO should not interfere in the daily operations of his company. He leaves that to the management. The mind needs the vision of the soul to stay on the right track, but it also has an operating mode of its own that we must trust to work well without constant interference. In this way, we can reduce our stress levels significantly.
The active mind
Our mind is a powerful tool that should be used cautiously. It’s designed to work twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, three hundred and sixty-five days a year. Relentlessly. In service of the soul, who lives quietly in the Now.
Beware of manipulations of the mind to serve others or even to serve the mind’s own agenda for its joy at its own achievements. We sometimes call it the Ego.
Do not strive to eliminate the mind permanently, it is our guardian angel.
As our skill for planning, learning or protection is not always required we must, at times, release our loyal and ever busy assistant from its tasks, so that the soul can rest.
Four ways to quieten the mind temporarily:
1. Fast repetition for 30 seconds or more.
The mind reacts to repetition by repressing the thoughts into the subconscious. If you crave chocolate, repeating the word chocolate for 30 seconds will reduce the craving.
2. Display the problem in a visible spot.
When the issue is displayed everywhere, the mind lets go of the emotion or thought that accompanies it. We’ve all witnessed acts of display in times of deep grief. In the aftermath of terrible catastrophes people put badges on their clothes or pictures on their Facebook wall to display their grief.
3. Distractions. Engage in other thoughts and actions.
Engage in other thoughts as one thought replaces the other. The mind can be distracted into different thoughts by watching films, listening to music or reading. Enga
ge in distracting actions such as jogging, playing tennis, swimming or other activities.
4. Meditation. This practice has real benefits, as we will see later. It stills the mind and restores the body’s functions. There are several main ways to practice meditation.
By concentrating on a single point we can eliminate the thought and enter deep into our inner state. This happened to me while operating on my patients. It bores the mind out while the body is still occupied in an automatic action. Looking at a burning candle might have the same effect.
Mindfulness or open monitoring
By just observing with an emotional disengagement the mind relaxes. This is one of the stages of Yoga. By sitting comfortably, breathing freely, feeling the sensations inside the body and expressing gratitude while observing nature, we are living a mini Yoga session. Beware of bringing the unconscious back into consciousness, thus generating thought. Nature provided us with the unconscious mind to liberate the conscious mind from repetitive thoughts. We drive our car, eat our food and do much of our work on automatic pilot. Going back to conscious action can be useful temporarily, but not as a way of life.
Repetitive songs relax the mind. In this category of meditation we can include sincere prayer. Within less then two minutes of meditation the mind relaxes.
Transcending the thoughts
Going beyond the level of superficial thoughts by repeating a specific mantra is a way to transcend the overactive mind.
The ancient technique of il pouring on the forehead or Shirodhara is known to induce meditation effortlessly. We will discuss this later in depth.
Meditation: By sitting comfortably, In the category of meditation, we can include sincere prayer. With less than two minutes of meditation, the mind relaxes.
With over 50.000 thoughts a day on average, the mind is a busy bee. Managing its activity is essential for our well being.
“You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day - unless you are too busy; then you sit for an hour” is an old Zen saying.
Are you following the mind, the soul or both? In times of doubt, be BOLD.
B : Breath – Breathe slowly, slow down.
O : Observe – Observe what you are doing, feeling or thinking. Allow the inner experience to flow through you.
L : Listen – Listen to values. Right now, what kind of person do you want to be?
D : Decide – Decide on actions and carry them out. Choose actions that reflect your values.
For many of us, our minds are unfocused or restricted, preventing us from growing. When cleansed of our multiple unfulfilled desires and negative emotions, it can be focused on our desire to fulfill our dreams. We possess the innate, infinite power to MANIFEST our desired life. Therefore, we must enter the realm of meditation to calm the chatter of the mind and connect to our soul’s purpose. From this quiet position, we can create the changes needed to conceive it.
The mind can be freed of the chains of past conditioning and trained to reach new heights outside its comfort zone. It can be focused to achieve our dreams.