The more I meditate, the more I realize how f*cking crazy I am.
The mind is an impenetrable fortress, as Nietzsche declared, and boy did he hit the nail on the head. When we begin to really take the time out to pay attention to our own thoughts, we realize we’re not that far away from being borderline insane—and I really mean that.
The mind—or, I should say, the ego—clings to whatever gives it a momentary sense of power, no matter how neurotic or compulsive this would look from an outside view.
Luckily, other people can’t hear our thoughts, or we’d all be in a lot of trouble. Still, every now and again, we can catch a glimpse of what kinds of thoughts someone is having based on their facial expression and body language—and it usually looks like some demonic creature from the depths of Valhalla, belligerently shouting and beeping at us for the severe crime of going the actual speed limit. This is a picture of our crazy monkey mind in a nutshell.
Anyway, I was meditating recently—which for me looks like sitting quietly for an hour or so, while attempting to bring awareness to my body and observe the movements of my mind—and it struck me like a lightning bolt what my thoughts really are.
I was realizing—as my mind whirled and twirled endlessly, while I sat there watching it—that this is just a radio station playing moments from my past and projecting ideas for the future, with no real order or consistency. Huh.
This wasn’t one of those ideas of a realization—it was deeply grounded in my experience. I saw everything in that moment, and that clarity has not gone away since. This is the beautiful thing about meditation practice—it allows us to actually embody our experience, instead of just having an idea about it. We get to live it out fully.
So, if the mind is just a radio, then maybe if we’re more connected with our true self—and in tune with what’s happening in the present moment—we change the station to a higher frequency: the wavelength of the universe.
That could sound “new-agey,” but I have noticed that when a deeper quality awareness starts to open up in my daily life—my thoughts change. They soften. They don’t feel as heavy, because they are no longer carrying the baggage of our personal history. It’s like the station has changed from a hardcore metal band to a classical opera or some smooth jazz, and it comes with a much more welcoming feeling.
We can’t change the nature of the mind. What we can do is redirect the energy of the mind to a more positive place. We can’t change the fact that the mind is a radio—however, we can always change the station.
How? We meditate. That’s how we move in harmony with life.
Meditation can look a number of different ways. It’s not necessarily just sitting and breathing, even though that’s the simplest and most direct form of meditation. Our meditation can be involving ourselves in an art form. Painting. Martial Arts. Archery. Meditation can be reading certain books in a certain way. It can be writing out our thoughts. To me, meditation is anything that taps us into the beautiful quality of relaxed focus—where we are walking the fine line between what is known and what is unknown, living on the edge of reality.
Start a meditation practice, no matter what that would look like for you, and change the radio station of the mind.
Stop Being a Slave to Your Ego.
There’s no Easy way to Hack Meditation.
Author: Samuel Kronen
Image: Flickr/Susan Ackeridge
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Copy Editor: Kenni Linden
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