Monday, May 26, 2014

Mind Over Matter

You know that saying "my mind is a dangerous neighborhood and I should not go there alone"?  Lately, my mind has been in over drive. Based on what I hear from those closest to me,  I know that I am not alone. Thinking has become an epidemic and information is the drug of choice. Just yesterday, I read that we have an average of 70,000 thoughts per day. Many of them about the same topic or issue. Each time we think and follow that thought, the groove in that pathway of the brain deepens a little more. Habitual thinking gets me deeper into my own small world. I, in turn, believe what I think. My actions follow suit, and before you know it, I have created my reality.

What other solutions may come if I redirect my thinking? Discipline of the mind is an idea that is easier said than done. Many times in a day, I wake up from the trance of my own "monkey mind". Once again, I have lost consciousness and allowed the usual same three thoughts to run the show, deepening the pathways of my brain that are already entirely too strong. Awareness becomes the key. Can I at least become an observer? Am I able to wake up and notice that I am in habitual thinking? Once I am aware, am I able to observe the thought without identifying with it? I may even be able to watch the thinking part of me. and begin to see and feel that I am not the thinking mind alone.

This calls for a deep breath. Regain and retrain the mind. As I exhale, I draw my mind into my body. This very simple action may even allow me to send my awareness down into my heart. When I inhale I place my attention upon the center of my heart, as I exhale I am able to sense this place physically. In Buddhism, they say that the second mind is in the heart. In this way, our sense of knowing is placed in our center of compassion."Follow your heart", suddenly makes sense. The heart is a very good placement of my own awareness. Trusting the knowing of the heart is a much more reliable source.

your brain on yoga and meditation
Perhaps nothing on the outside really changes when we shift our mind out of habitual thinking. It may give us more freedom of choice and at least a marginal ability to direct our decisions from the wisdom of the heart. That is good enough for me. At the very least: "If I don't mind, it doesn't matter."

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