What are you thinking about right now? What thoughts are zooming around in your head? Are you thinking about what to make for dinner, where you put your glasses, why the earth moves at the speed it does, why your kid was unhappy this morning… what is going through your mind? If I were to guess based on my history, a whole lot of things; especially if you are a woman! Our mind is wired like the internet super highway. We can’t stop the madness. I’m going to share a few secrets about how to quiet your mind and discover your awareness?
What thoughts are zooming around in your head?
Although it took me years to get here, today I can be completely present. Not knowing what to call my state-of-being, for a while I would say I was living in a Zen-like state where your head isn’t spinning with thoughts. As I would practice my new consciousness, if random thoughts would creep in, I would gently remove them and continue in the now. As time has moved on, I have created a world where this is the only place I want to be.
I find it funny that the only time living in the present is a problem is when I get in my car to drive to work. Because I don’t think about it until I get in the driver’s seat, I completely forget I have to call my insurance agent to tell him I need a new windshield. The few little holes have turned into a spider web and now it is starting to affect my vision. There, I just made a note in my planner. I will call him on Monday.
My transforming from the messed up life I left long ago has taken many twists and turns, each one taking me to a better and more awakened place. When you don’t know how to get to this place by yourself, you most likely can’t get here.
I didn’t have help getting to where I am which made it a long and hard road to travel. Thankfully, now I am surrounded by people who think and feel and believe the same as I do; because of this connection, we have all become the best of friends. It is hard to describe.
Most people in our western civilization are in their minds all the time. Everyone is so busy moving and shaking; they can’t stop thinking about the next move they need to make to get ahead. We’re practically insane because most people have stopped any practice of smelling the roses along the way. They are in too much of a hurry.
If you allow yourself to try this, you will see what I mean. Find a quiet place, sit quietly and pay attention to how active your thoughts are and how they never cease to swirl through your head. At first, they won’t come because you will actively be waiting for them. That will be the only thought you have. Allow that thought to pass then just sit and listen.
Everyone is so busy moving and shaking; they can’t stop thinking about the next move they have to make to get ahead.
Isn’t it nuts how much is floating around inside of you?
There is a way to quiet your mind. Here are a few tips you can use to give it a try. Again, this takes a lot of practice so don’t give up. Your mind is going to fight you every step of the way. You need to put ego aside and let yourself control what you will allow in. Just try it.
One of the ways I like to silence my thoughts is through either sitting or walking meditation. When I sit quietly, the thoughts will try to come in, but I gently push them aside. This isn’t the easiest way for many to start, so I will give you suggestions on ways to meditate and keep the thoughts at bay.
Either sitting or walking, say the sounds quietly “Sa ta na ma.” With your thumb on either hand, touch each of the other four fingers beginning with the index finger as you say the words. Slowly say the sounds and touch the fingers, one at a time as you go, continuing to repeat the sounds. Thoughts won’t enter as you are outwardly and actively doing this.
Another thing to do is simply focusing on your breathing. This method you can do anytime, anywhere. Just pay attention as you draw your breath in and feel it as it expands your lungs in a slow, deliberate breath. Pay attention as you exhale and feel your chest as the air leaves your body. Breathe in and out, slowly and consciously. When you are paying attention to your breathing, thoughts will not come in.
Some other fun exercises you can do will help you understand why it is so important to empty your mind. It is so full all the time; we don’t see or hear what is going on around us. We are virtually unconscious.
Take a walk or go out in nature somewhere. Focus on your breathing as you walk, and tune in to only one of your senses. With just your eyes as you walk, really look around you. You will notice leaves, veins on the leaves, incredible shapes of trees and bushes, cobwebs. You will see the beauty in everything you see. With your ears, listen to see how much you can hear. Can you hear birds in all different directions, frogs, streams nearby or even the sounds of your feet hitting the ground? When was the last time you heard that? You will see there are things you walk by that you perhaps walk by every day but never noticed before.
The next exercise will be the real test to show you how much you are missing. It’s a crazy concept, but when you use it, it can blow your mind.
Think of a color. Focus on that color for a few moments and then go for a drive or a walk. You will see the color you picked like you have never seen the color before.
Today during my walk, I picked blue. For the rest of the day, the color blue was jumping at me from every angle! Do you know how many yard waste containers we have in Puyallup? Every sign on the freeway is blue, the little signs that are underneath the green exit signs are blue with beds, hospital signs or propane tanks. The Washington license place has a dim picture of Mount Rainier, and wow, they popped out with every car that drove by. From down the freeway, I could see semi trucks with cabs far down the road headed my way. Cars? I had no idea so many blue cars existed! In the middle of the freeway, there were blue flowers. There were multiple blue signs, trim and lettering on buildings. A building I drive by every day, I didn’t realize had blue curtains all around. Blue jumped at me in every possible way.
Practice silencing your mind and then pick yourself a color. Think about that color and choose to see it. You will be blown away by how rampant it is.
There, you were awake today! Pick another color tomorrow. Have fun with it.
It’s just a start, but it’s a way to start getting in touch with yourself and the world where you live. It’s far from enlightenment, but it is the beginning of the journey.
There, you were awake today!
When you live in the present moment, there is no past when you are in the now, so what happened before doesn’t matter. There is no future in the present moment either; just right now. When you keep yourself right here, right now, the rest will fall into place. You have to allow it to happen.
Please return and comment after you have experimented with your silent mind and new-found awareness. I would love to hear about your experience.