As we learn to meditate, we begin to notice things we’ve never seen, heard or felt before. It can feel as though our mind has a mind of its own. In a way, it does. It creates unsolicited content for itself and upon subscribing to that content, it will often react in negative ways. Am I alone in thinking this sounds crazy? In a sense, it is. Which is why meditation is so important. Meditation allows us to see this strange situation for what it is and instead of believing the content or worse, reacting, we can simply learn to tune in and see what we have to say.
I often wake around 3am. Most times I’ll turn over and fall back asleep but sometimes I wake and instead turn over thoughts in my head. Like a phone call, no good thought ever came at 3am. Before I know it, an hour has passed and and I’m wide awake jacked up with a hammering heart as I fret over past regrets and future fears. How many of you can relate? How is it possible that our own streamed thoughts terrorize us so much?
Before meditation, I was completely at the mercy of whatever my mind wanted to play. My mind often felt like a prison and I’d do anything to escape its harsh conditions. Netflix, sports, social media and work were all favourite distractions of mine. They worked for awhile but as soon as the distraction was over, I would immediately notice the mind-cast would still be playing except louder now. It turns out a problem of the mind can’t simply be solved by distracting the mind. The only thing that truly eased my suffering was learning how to tune into my mind-cast and with courage, I learned how to listen without judgement or reaction. What sounds like a suicidal move actually became the key to my freedom.
It turns out, our mindcast has a theme. It’s called The Great Escape: Adventures in Resistance and Denial. Our mind streams content specific to our journey and won’t stream new content until we have taken the time to listen and learn from the current playlist. The more we try to resist, deny or try to escape the information, the louder the content plays creating a very unpleasant human experience.
Meditation teaches us how to experience the mindcast without emotional attachment. Upon listening, we discover we can handle the information, in fact it’s not as painful or scary as we thought. As soon as we observe it, we make friends with it and just like that the door to the prison clangs open and we can walk out into freedom. Even better, we wake up the next day to a new mindcast episode with a positive theme. The Hero’s Journey: Adventures in the Moment.
Our mind wants our attention not our attachment. Learning the difference could save your life.