Q&A “How do I stop the chatter in my mind?”
Hi Colleen. I’ve been asking for a while “what is my purpose”? And “How do I stop the chatter in my mind to meditate”? Lastly “How do I stop doing and just be but still feel useful”? Many thanks in advance.
Cecelia: I’ve been asking for a while “what is my purpose”?
The question is an important one, it is a result of a growing hunger for truth and meaning. All seeking is actually a search for the true self. When we find the true self, the finding dissolves the seeking. The purpose of being human is ultimately to awaken to your true self, to wake up out of the dream of being a human.
Cecelia: How do I stop the chatter in my mind to meditate”?
Colleen-Joy: This is a common challenge and question. There is a big misconception that we need to stop thoughts in order to meditate. Firstly, the mind and thoughts are automatic, they arise and fall continually.
I always tell students to test if they are really in charge of their thoughts by stopping thoughts for even 2 minutes. Impossible right? In fact, it is only the mind that even has the thought to want to stop the mind. To admit and realize that thoughts happen automatically is a helpful step.
Secondly, it can be helpful to realize that thoughts are objects in awareness. That you exist before, during and after a thought.
That thoughts appear in and of you as awareness, that thoughts are made of awareness, but that awareness is not made of thoughts. Notice that you are aware. That you as awareness exist equally whether thoughts are busy or thoughts are quiet. You exist before, during and after thoughts.
In the gaps and while watching the movie of the mind. That you are the same awareness whether the mind is quiet or noisy. This realization is worthy of meditative contemplation. This is the highest meditation, to be aware that you are awareness.
Thirdly, it can be seen that thoughts do not disturb you as awareness. Thoughts arise and fall, in and of awareness, but are not a problem for awareness. Resting in this truth can and often does bring peace to the mind, but awareness does not need a peaceful mind to know itself as awareness.
Many people are trying to find the self in the mind. That is like trying to find the eye in the lens of a pair of glasses. The self, awareness is what is aware of thoughts, thoughts cannot know awareness, awareness knows thoughts. Meditation can be used to see this and know this. In fact, thoughts therefore can be helpful, because they set up targets of attention to learn to discern as objects in awareness. Notice that you are aware of thoughts. Rest your attention in and as awareness. This is the highest use of meditation.
Cecelia: Lastly “How do I stop doing and just be but still feel useful”?
Colleen-Joy: Life cannot stop doing.
Everything that is life is movement. The wind, the rustling leaves of a tree, eyelashes growing, heartbeats, nerves signalling, life is movement itself. The body, the mind, feelings, thoughts all move. They move according to their design, and their function.
This movement is influenced by and directed by so many factors, ultimately extending to the entire universe as a cause of movement. The universe is the doer. Life is the doer.
The problem arises when we don’t know the true self, and we take ourselves as being a conceptual idea of a separate body, mind and feelings.
Awareness, the true self is stillness. In and of that stillness arises movement, the movement of body, mind, sensations, feelings. When we know this and see this, we realize that even when the body and mind are very busy doing, that we are always just being. We cannot help to just be.
Being is not an opposite to doing. Doing arises in the stillness of being, like colors of light dancing in the empty still space. This doing is miraculous. This doing, this movement is the dance of life, and is the moving intelligence of life. The name god is often given to the intelligence of the dance of life.
This intelligence is always useful, in so far that it serves life with love. The knowing of this, the seeing of this brings understanding to the mind, brings joy to the heart and peace to the being.
Eventually, from the clear perspective of awareness, it can even be seen that nothing is moving, objects only appears to move. It is a dance of light as life. Even science agrees that the universe is empty space that appears to contain movement, but that nothing is moving. There is only this, non-dual self, open, awake, love as awareness. Rest the mind in this truth and the miracle of life can be seen as a gift and privilege.
Your body-mind is useful, it is made from life by life and is being directed by life. You are awareness, that isn’t moving or being moved. All movement happens in you. Life knows how to be useful, when this knowledge is embodied, the body-mind serve life with love.