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Observing your Mind

September 3rd, 2012

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For all my US readers, I hope you had a nice Labor Day Holiday!

This week I want to reflect on the tricks our mind plays on us and how our awareness can limit the negative effect they have on us.

monks

I have often read, heard, and written about the mind and how it works; but there are very few instances in which I have experienced first hand the separation between my mind and "me" and have noticed that I was being tricked by it. Last week I had one of those clear instances and it was really empowering, that is what inspired this post.

Our mind plays tricks on us and as long as we identify with it we are caught on its tricks, it isn't until we can distance ourselves from our mind and realize it is not "who we are", that the tricks loose power and our real self emerges and becomes stronger.

Our thoughts and our beliefs (that happen in our mind), as well as our emotions (that are the consequences of those thoughts and beliefs), are closely connected to one another, but none of them are a true reflection of who we are. The problem is most people get their sense of identity from them, which in turn, hinders their ability to find their true self, their true identity!

So, last week was the first week of school for my children. Although this is their second year in school, to my dismay, their first day back was quite hard, especially for my son, who did not want to go back and was really upset about it. As we got in the classroom, the teacher took him a little too briskly from my arms and walked away holding him, as he was screaming, crying and begging me not to go. It was excruciatingly painful for me (I am sure many moms can relate to the feeling).

As I was driving back home, quite upset still, my mind kept replaying the moment when she took him from me and he started yelling in her arms and reaching out for me, as I kept playing that memory in my head I was feeling more and more upset about it and angry at the teacher and guilty at letting her do that. I could see how my upset escalated as I replayed the incident again and again in my mind.

Then, suddenly I realized it, my mind was tricking me! I somehow was able to separate myself from the thought and noticed that it was my mind that was inflicting pain on myself and not the incident itself. The unpleasant moment had lasted maybe one minute, his crying probably 5 - 7 minutes at the most, yet, by replaying that moment in my mind, I was making my upset last and last and last...
Right as I realized the pattern, I stopped my mind, I moved out of that thought and suddenly the pain subsided, it disappeared and I was at peace again. Just by noticing the workings of my mind I was able to ease the pain almost instantaneously.

I then remembered an old Buddhist story that I like very much and that illustrates this point:

Two Buddhist Monks were on a journey and they came to a deep river that they had to cross; at the bank of the river was a woman that asked them for help as she could not cross alone.
As monks, they weren't allowed to touch a woman, however, the older monk carried the woman in his back and helped her cross the river.
The two monks continued their journey in silence, but the younger monk was upset and uncomfortable. Finally, at the end of their trip, the older monk asked the younger one why he was so upset and the younger one expressed his disapproval at his companion for breaking the rules and carrying the woman on his back; to which the older monk replied: "Brother, I carried her for just a few minutes, why are you still carrying her?"

Aside from illustrating my point on how our mind can make a short lived event into a long lasting accumulation of pain, un comfort, anger, guilt, etc. Another important lesson about this story is that when we judge others, we often wind up carrying their doings on our backs for as long as we hold any particular judgment and attach to it.

Your mind has a life of its own, but if you become the observer of your mind and are able to separate from it, you will benefit tremendously and find inner peace in every moment, because you are not your mind, you are not your thoughts, you are not your emotions, you are much deeper than that, you are the stillness underneath all the turmoil.

Have a great week!

Announcements:

*Silva Life System in the DC area, September 1&2 For more info call Diana at 703-866-4030 or email her at silvamethod@cox.net also, for spanish speakers there is a special conference:"Reencuentra tu Alma" y "Tener Razón o ser Feliz"on Oct. 13th

*Healing with the Masters, 2012 Workshop Series start September 11th . Free online event.

*Conversations with God, with Neale Donald Walsch. 7-week online course starts September 13th Register here.

*Eckhart Tolle is coming Washington! October 4th, 2012, Get your tickets here.

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