How to make the mind powerful.
Thoughts move very quickly. During their brief transit in the conscious mind, a little inattention on our part and thoughts rapidly disappear. We cannot control their inflow or outflow. Furthermore, we cannot keep them in our conscious awareness through force of will. We may be able to do this for a few seconds, but anything longer than that is next to impossible. As our attention moves from one thought to another, the energy of the mind leaks out whenever we identify and try to ‘own’ a thought.
As our attention moves from one thought to another, the energy of the mind leaks out whenever we identify and try to ‘own’ a thought.
The process of identification with thoughts starts the moment we label thoughts as either positive or negative. Keeping positive thoughts closeby and moving away from negative thoughts becomes a continual effort that follows their labeling. Thoughts don’t come to us with signs stating whether the contents are negative or positive. Only when we know what the contents of thoughts are, do we label them as positive or negative.
Thoughts don’t come to us with signs stating whether the contents are negative or positive. Only when we know what the contents of thoughts are, do we label them as positive or negative.
When we don’t identify with thoughts, they become like individual pieces of luggage, the contents of which are not visible. In an airport, at any given time there are thousands of bags moving on conveyor belts. Only the owners of the bags know what their bags contain. Baggage handlers depend on luggage tags to direct and route bags to the appropriate destinations. They have no emotional attachment to any of the bags. Whether the bags contain articles of value or are full of old and used clothes, all bags are treated the same. When we don’t identify with any thought, there is no emotional link to the contents. We let them freely pass just as baggage handlers don’t impede the movement of bags passing through their hands every day.
When we don’t identify with any thought, there is no emotional link to the contents.
The mind is like an airport. At any given moment, experiences ‘fly’ in from the outside through the senses. Along with this, experiences bubble up from the memory bank within. Thoughts need to be in constant movement. Otherwise, they will clog up the mental space. Imagine if arriving and departing passengers do not leave the airport. The place will become crowded in no time, blocking traffic in and out. Similarly, there is a constant arrival and departure of thoughts.
Like air traffic controllers who are monitoring incoming and outgoing aircraft, we tie up our awareness with incoming and outgoing thoughts. Just as their call signs identify aircraft, we identify thoughts through their negative and positive ‘call signs.’ This labeling occurs in a fraction of a second. Thoughts move faster than the speed of light, and our awareness is even quicker.
Thoughts move faster than the speed of light, and our awareness is even quicker.
Thoughts may appear to come pre-labeled as either negative or positive. This is not the case. They are nondescript packets of energy floating in the mind space. In a split second, the energy of awareness sorts through the contents of each thought checks with the memory bank and assigns appropriate labels.
Thoughts trap our awareness when we label thoughts as positive or negative, identification then follows. Finally, emotional attachment makes those thoughts part of the permanent repository in the subconscious mind.
With positive thoughts, we harbor expectations of associated happiness. With negative thoughts, we anticipate fear and other negative emotions. There is a constant push and pull between joy and despair. These emotions see-saw in the mind, making it restless and uncomfortable. We cannot easily overpower negative thoughts through the active pursuit of positive thoughts. The mind is bound to recoil at some point.
We cannot easily overpower negative thoughts through the active pursuit of positive thoughts. The mind is bound to recoil at some point.
Teasing out awareness from entanglement from thoughts and restoring its independence makes the mind a potent tool. To free awareness from the mind, we will have to reverse the process by which thoughts trap awareness in the first place.
Teasing out awareness from entanglement from thoughts and restoring its independence makes the mind a potent tool.
The initial and crucial step is working on emotional detachment from thoughts. This lessens and finally eliminates our identification with thoughts. When we don’t identify with a thought, we release it from our awareness, and it becomes free to once again roam through the mind space. Such free-flying thoughts don’t carry a positive or negative label. They remain as packets of energy in the mind, whose energy we can use for any purpose.
Free-flying thoughts don’t carry a positive or negative label. They remain as packets of energy in the mind, whose energy we can use for any purpose.
Witnessing helps with emotional detachment from thoughts. When we are in a state of witnessing, we are not watching from the perspective of the ego. We perceive thoughts from a deeper place of awareness. Emotions end with the ego. They cannot enter the space of awareness from which witnessing happens.
Even though there is emotional detachment from thoughts, we may continue to encounter positive and negative thoughts. We cannot remove these labels, assigned in the past, all at once. The labeling process is subtle, and the labels are very sticky. They are very hard to peel away. At this point, there may be a temptation to nudge negative thoughts away and positive thoughts towards us, this can return us to emotional entanglement with thoughts once again.
To help with de-identification from our thoughts, we can look upon the mind as a battery, which has a positive end and a negative end. Both are essential for the battery to hold an electrical charge. We cannot have a battery with only a positive pole or a negative pole. Similarly, we give the mind its energy by entertaining both positive and negative thoughts and emotions.
Witnessing helps us uncouple happiness associated with positive thoughts and misery with negative thoughts. By this, we will be able to cease identification with thoughts. The net energy of thoughts we previously labeled as positive or negative will become available to us.
When we react to thoughts that the mind may bring up, we end up dissipating the mind’s energy. Being a distant watcher helps conserve the mind’s energy. This energy will be available to us, and the mind becomes like a fully charged battery.
When we react to thoughts that the mind may bring up, we end up dissipating the mind’s energy. Being a distant watcher helps conserve the mind’s energy.
When we don’t label thoughts, the circuit between thoughts and awareness is interrupted. Thoughts are free to travel in the mind, which being a confined space does not allow their energies to leak out. This can happen when awareness completes the circuit through our identification with thoughts. This bank of energy’ right before our eyes’ is vast potential. When we interact with the mind and thoughts towards a productive end, the stored energy makes the mind powerful.
A powerful mind is an invaluable tool for success in any endeavor.