“Peace is the result of retraining your mind to process life as it is, rather than as you think it should be.” —Wayne W. Dyer
Greetings and Blessings to all of my readers!
Today, I want to speak on a topic I think should be at the heart of any meaningful practice; the cultivation of a stable mind. I believe this to be a much needed and central element to any practice because it is the mind from which many of the obstacles to peace exist. And if we cannot bring consistency to the quality of our thinking and mental atmosphere, there is not much hope for any further development or progress along our path.
Over the course of the last ten months or so, many experiences have occurred in my life which have brought to bear a great deal of mental “noise”; static that has made it challenging for me to maintain a serene mental state which translates to sleeplessness, anxiety, irritability, and poor decision making. Suffice to say, there have been many moments of “instability” in regards to my mind, and therefore instability in my life.
While engaged in meditation I frequently sit with an open awareness to anything that might be the cause of this dis-ease, and from this awareness I am open to contemplate potential solutions to these issues. From these gleanings I shall provide what I feel to be a series of helpful exercises and daily practices that can assist in the cultivation of a stable mind.
turning static into signal
What function do we assign our mind? What purpose do we give our awareness?
I’d hazard to say that most of the time our mind is merely the tool we utilize to project what we want to see. Though this is not the function the mind is meant to perform, it is this superficial task it is consistently given. Very little “data” of what we encounter in the world and within ourselves is ever properly processed and understood and the result is a mind which never anchors to anything substantial or meaningful.
However, if we made it a point to give our mind the birth to really engage with the information and sensations of experience, we would discover that the real potency lies within the presence of a mindful witness. What I mean is that through still and present attention, we can lock into signal rather then getting caught up in the static of superficial and partial interpretations of reality.
The mind is apt to default to a mode where the static is intentionally sought out as a means of incubating the indwelling ego, maintaining its own stable [though insane and destructive] worldview and beliefs. We are kept then at arms length from the real and true connection to Reality and to each other that would bring about a healing engagement with the agency of our own Divine Selfhood.
The practice must therefore be to consistently return to a calm and silent center, especially in the midst of conflict, to really allow the signal of the moment to set in and be processed. There is truly a near infinite amount of information entering into our consciousness moment to moment, but we pick out what we believe to be useful as far as keeping our ego safe and alive, and sacrifice anything that might jeopardize that false sense of selfhood and prevent true connection and recognition to and of Reality.
I just can’t sleep
Sleeplessness is usually a symptom of a mind that has to much data left in its “cache”. Thoughts and emotions which have not been thoroughly processed and remain “onboard” but yet unconscious tend to surface when both the psychic energies are quiet and we are not being distracted. Typically, this is during the hours we should be spending in the restful domain of causal, dreamless sleep.
A helpful remedy for this is to devote 30 mins to an hour before we intend to go to bed for meditation, contemplation, and simple breathing. These exercises create a subtle space for these thoughts and emotions to rise up in our awareness and allow us to process them properly so as to not be disturbed by them when all we want to do is close our eyes and sleep.
We can create an unhealthy habit of sleeplessness which leads to a cascade of many other health issues that range from mere annoyances to severe, systemic failures in our capacity to be “human”.
Some of our thoughts and feelings are complicated, however, and might require more intensive practices for the purpose of processing and healing. I recommend that more time throughout the day be devoted to meditation and contemplation, in concert with exercise, meaningful interactions, and intentional kind service towards others [human and animal alike]. The point is not to “fix” what we perceive as problems, but instead to return to the serenity of our True Being as luminous Children of a Loving Creator; for it is here that all problems will melt away.
I pray you find utility with what I have shared.