How My Mind Works Now

Posted: April 26, 2015 in Personal Stories

When I get deeper into my discussions with some people I will often state that “For most of us, our minds are like a hurricane of chaotic thought. My mind is like a gentle breeze, and even when the gentle breeze is blowing, I know that it’s just a gentle breeze”. In this post I want to expand on this a bit more and offer a more precise explanation of what things look like in my head.

For the most part, my mind is clear – the natural state of my mind is that of the observer. I simply watch each moment unfold without getting caught up in the narratives. That being said, the sense perceptions are very powerful and they often trigger momentary states of mind that must be worked with from an observational point of view, through mindfulness and conscious awareness.

For instance, I may see something occur on the street and immediately see a judgment arise within the presence of my mind space. I immediately recognize it as a judgment and then dismiss it. If the judgement was particularly strong, I might take a moment to examine the nature of the judgment and the content of the thought process behind it.

If I find myself frustrated by something, I will notice that I am frustrated based on the physical sensation of frustration that arises within the presence of my body. Indeed most mind states have a physical component to them if you pay close attention. When I notice this sensation, I breathe deeply into the center of my beingness and carefully watch the frustration, not getting caught up in it.

From time to time I will also notice a disturbing thought arise unbidden – of its own accord. These I immediately categorize as a confused, unwholesome arisen thought, and I laugh to myself. I ask God to forgive my silliness, and then forgive myself for the thought; knowing that it is just a part of my human imperfection – and that the key is in how we respond to these thoughts, not their content.

Each morning and each night I must also contend with doubts that arise – usually a variation on the theme “Why am I doing this? I must be insane.” Of course I know that my sanity is fully intact and that real sanity arises from a clear mind. It is the conditioned mind that is full of insanity; but nevertheless, my doubts manifest as they will and those doubts must be quelled when they arise.

This is where faith comes in – in fact, faith is often the thing I fall back on time and time again if there is fear, uncertainty, and doubt that is more pervasive than some of the more common things that arise. Fear is easy to let go of in almost all cases since fear is pretty much baseless. Uncertainty really doesn’t play much of a role anymore either, since uncertainty is just a natural part of life that must be accepted.

Doubt is a tough one though – and it is only really quelled by faith. Faith in God, faith in God’s plan, faith in God’s love, and faith in the strength that God gives me to step though my doubt. It takes me about 5 minutes in the morning and about 5 minutes at night to go through the internal observational dialogue that resolves these periods of doubt, and then I set those doubts aside in their entirety.

The best thing to quell doubt though is synchronicity. When we slow down and pay attention to what is arising in our lives, a moment of synchronicity may be enough to wipe out a moment of fear, uncertainty or doubt – so completely and totally that it just disappears entirely and doesn’t come back into our mind space again. Maybe not every time – but when God knows we need it and offers us a sign of his love.

For instance, this morning while heading to Starbucks for my morning movement, I was walking with my morning doubts and a worker on the side of the road smiled, said good morning, noticed my cross, and commented on it. He asked me a couple of questions and my answers dissolved my doubt. What was this moment? It was God moving through the road worker, showing me that he’s still beside me.

Or this evening when I was asking if there was more that I should be doing to honor God and speed things up a bit. Doubting the way I’m doing things and questioning whether or not I’m doing enough. In that moment a young girl, perhaps four years old, was driven by me in a stroller. She waved at me and blew me a kiss. My doubts melted away and a smile as bright as the sun filled my face.

The other key point to make here, and something that I’ve already alluded to; we must learn to let go of the frustration, guilt, and shame that sometimes accompanies our negative states of mind. If you see something unwholesome arise, you must simply deal with it as appropriate; being with it, or examining it, or letting it go, etc. And then you must forgive yourself and let it slip away in its entirety.

This entire process is indeed a process. It is much like periodization training for muscle development. The more work we do within the disciplining of the mind, the more disciplined the mind becomes. The more angles we confront our undisciplined minds from, the more fully developed our disciplined mind becomes. This process continues until we draw our last breath.

Therein lays the nature of my common assertion that “enlightenment is both everything and nothing at the very same time”. Clearing the mind is a continuous process that requires our moment to moment attention, nonjudgmental awareness, and tools for returning to a wholesome state of mind that negates the narrative rather than adding to it. This is why opening the heart is also a necessity.

Opening the heart takes us into our own beingness and allows us to commune with our own soul. To reach into the collective wisdom of all beings that have ever been, are now, and ever will be. But we cannot reach into this place with a clouded mind – the mind must be tended to, shaped, and molded so that the heart is allowed to shine through and carry us forward as beings of infinite love.

So indeed, my mind is like a gentle breeze and when the gentle breeze is blowing, I know that it is blowing. The nature of my egoic consciousness has been dissolved to the point of “the small voice that holds no sway”. This is not to say that the ego is gone – it is always there. It just doesn’t govern my experience of living anymore. And this is the nature of living within the enlightened mind.

But do not believe that enlightenment is a magical state of pure imperturbable equanimity. Indeed if you make this your goal then you are sure to invite more suffering. It is not what the mind does, but rather how we respond to what the mind does that is at the heart of when happens within the enlightened mind. So learn to discipline the mind and watch in awe as it alters your entire experience of living – ever deepening – ever expanding – at one with everything.

  1. Anonymous says:

    Why on earth would anyone need to ask for forgiveness from god.. is it a ceramony or a delusion? God is a word, the concept of god is trapping something that needs no words and in fact requires no words into a concept that can be expressed as god.


    • Anonymous says:

      God is the essence of beingness that exists beyond us, all around us, and within us. The word ‘God’, the label ‘God’ is irrelevant. But the beingness exists, no matter what you call it. It is infinite love and it waits for each of us with infinite patience.


  2. Anonymous says:

    ah, you screen comments, I see you are afraid someone wil hijack you.. interesting, whatever man.. post my shit or don’t..


    • Anonymous says:

      It’s a default security setting that requires approval of a comment before someones comments will appear. It’s an anti-spam mechanism. I make it a point to let all posts that are not spam come through – no matter what they may say.


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