You know what it’s like when you get stressed, as if you’re going out of your mind: “Oh no, I’m losing it, I’m going crazy, I can’t take any more.”
And how the more thoughts you have like this the more you’re caught up in the madness and get further away from being peaceful or happy.
The good news is that as long as we know we’re going nuts then we’re okay; it’s when we’re not aware that we’re off keel that it’s more serious. As Ed’s teacher once said, “The difference between a yogi and a madman is the yogi knows he’s mad!”
There’s no denying the importance and value of the mind—there’s great brilliance, creativity and beauty here—but also great absurdity. For no matter how intellectually astute or inspired we may be, this can have little effect upon the habitual mind and its repetitive patterns of guilt, anxiety, shame or self-centeredness. The tragedy is when maintaining our dramas, ego-trips or getting stressed out is seen as some sort of achievement.
So what if going out of your mind was actually the coolest thing to do? What if being out of your mind means you aren’t disturbed by your own madness and are more in touch with your feelings, your heart, even your freedom? What if it means getting away from insecurities, worries, judgments and doubts, away from everything that keeps you scattered and fearful, away from the commotions and stories that reinforce who you think you are?
As the great Zen teacher Alan Watts said, “We all need to go out of our minds at least once a day. By going out of our minds we quickly come to our senses.”
Meditation really helps here as it’s about calming and making friends with our chattering monkey-like mind while being aware and present in the moment. Being mindful of what we’re doing means that even if we don’t get it right it’s okay, it’s not such a big deal, for we can see that this doesn’t define us, that who we are is more than appearances.
Here are four ways to help you go out of your mind and in to real happiness:
1. Pay attention.
By being mindful you can witness the madness of your mind without identifying with or becoming it; you see that who you are is more than just your thoughts and feelings.
2. Make friends with fear.
Being fearful of fear keeps it an enemy, while befriending it turns it to fearlessness.
3. Turn shit into gold.
Transform difficult or dark times into rich experiences that generate greater insight and wisdom.
4. Meditate daily, even for five minutes.
It really will change you from being a victim of your own mind into a victor! Then imagine you are free of all the limitations and difficulties you are dealing with, that you’re free of who you thought you were and can now rest in your own beingness. Just close your eyes and know yourself to be completely free with nothing stopping you from being or doing anything. You are happy! You are free!
5. Forgive yourself.
It’s natural to make mistakes; none of us get it right all the time. Forgiving yourself for being human enables you to let go and move on more quickly.
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Editor: Travis May
Photos: Wiki Commons