We seem to sense our mind and body as one and to some minor degree, they are. Often without awareness or willingness, the mind drifts away from the body and highlights the distinction between the two. Our minds constantly exist with an unimaginable amount of noise and chaos. It seems to be always aware of itself, our thoughts, our feelings, our emotions, and our surroundings. It tends to either live in the past or the future. The mind is at a constant battle with the life unfolding within you and in front of you. This happens without the realization or intent of our own. But how do we quiet the mind?
Perhaps the most important question here is: Why should we quiet the mind? What is the importance and relevance of it? There are various benefits and levels of impact in our lives. In the end, just as the name of this project suggests, it is but an individual path.
So let’s dive right into it…
Mind and Body
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, we often sense the mind and the body as the same. Meaning to most of us, the thoughts and the thinker are one. Just the same way we see the experience and the experiencer to be the same. As Allan W. would describe this matter, “The formulation of (that relation) is not the point. It is the actual experiencing itself that’s the point.” It is this process from which we without realization correlate one another and blinds us to the constant chaos in our minds.
If our minds are always aware of our thoughts, our emotions, and our surroundings then it has to exist at a higher level of self-awareness. As I described it in one of my earlier articles, the body is a medium from which we experience life and this reality.
The Noise in Your Mind
It is not only the noise and chaos in our minds but the constant attention our minds give to the surrounding distractions. In The Surrender Experiment, Michael A. Singer described it as a “cacophony of noise” around you. We don’t realize how that noise, or voice as he called it, cares so much for our surroundings and our emotions. The difference here is that for most of us that noise acts as white noise (a type of noise that combines all frequencies and that our brain chooses not to be consciously aware of). Not being aware of it forces you to be in a sleeping state or not a fully awake state. However, once you become aware of it, it is complete chaos and noise.
Our minds are but too aware of our human emotions and sensations. We make significant efforts to label and make sense of the life unfolding in front of us to rationalize the nature of things. This blinds us into sensing our minds and body to be the same and furthermore distances us from sensing the “experiencing” itself.
The Still Mind
So why do the mind and body exist as one to some degree? Well when you are distracted thinking about something or imagining something, does it go anywhere? No. It still exists within you even though your mind is not fully present with you. Think of our minds as in a constant state of drift-ness or non-full presence. It is this conviction to our emotions, imagination, etc that acts as agitated water. The constant activity that often does not permit us to be in the now or the movement within it that does not allows us to see our reflections clearly.
Practices to Quiet the Mind
Let’s start with these two questions: Is the stream of thought and/or experience the same as the experiencer? And who is in control of that stream? It is in our nature to feel and be in control in order to dictate life and reality. The truth or at least partial truth is that the stream controls itself. When you give yourself up, you effectively are surrendering to a higher process. Some people refer it to the “Organic Theory of Nature”. You see, life and the world around us is full of natural balances and forces. Balances and forces that exist beyond our comprehension. And the very same balances than any organic system has.
Silencing the mind requires silence as redundant as that might sound. Therefore, the best practice is isolating yourself in a calm and quiet place and simply listen to your body at first. Meditation is a practice that can be rather difficult at first so I’m not gonna suggest it if you are not familiar with it. If you are, then please do use meditation as a practice to align yourself within. Simply remove yourself from any past, future or inconsequential thought and simply listen and be fully aware of your body. One of the most effective ways of quieting the mind is to listen to that vital and natural process we take for granted so much: Breathing.
Find a place where there are no distractions or noise. Sit down in whatever position is more comfortable for you. Listen to your heartbeat for a few minutes. And then feel and focus on the cold air coming through your nose and warm air going out your nose. Doing this will silence what I like to call “the monkey” in your head banging, dancing and screaming all the time.
Quiet the Mind
If you haven’t read The Surrender Experiment, then I will recommend it as a starting point to begin a process of realization and understanding. In the initial part of his journey, Micheal A. Singer crossed paths with a life-changing book called Three Pillars of Zen by Philip Kapleau. Three Pillars of Zen taps into the history and Mr. Kapleau’s experience with Zen Buddhism. Silencing the mind is not an on/off switch. Like in many of my other articles, this entails a practice, a discipline, and a deep belief.
Your mind does not exist to focus on the past or the future. It does not exist to focus on materialistic things that will perish with time, and it does not exist to numb you from reality. The mind exists to penetrate your being, essence, and fibers. It exists to elevate yourself from the transcendencies of society.
The Higher Path Project