Have you lost your mind? If you’re like most people, you probably have – and more than once in the course of an hour. According to mind experts old and new, the natural state of the mind is chaos. Eastern philosophies call this “monkey mind” – your thoughts swinging aimlessly through the trees carrying you and your emotions on a bumpy ride seemingly against your will. Western positive psychologists call it “chaos mind”. Left to its own devices, the mind will drift off, often into negative daydreaming territory like a needle stuck in dirty, broken record.
We’ve all been there; thought that. And I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that it’s probably no fun to be out there caught in a negative stream of consciousness. I also hope that like me, you might find some comfort in knowing that mind’s natural state is chaos. We’re all predisposed to chaotic thinking. So let’s chuckle at those crazy thoughts. Because in the end, most of us have the wherewithal to harness the inner beast of mind for our own greater good. And it can be a fun and interesting experiment to try.
GIVE ME WHAT I NEED OR ELSE!
The mind needs something to focus on. Meditation is one way to focus it. Mediation is a consciously controlled state even when your goal is to simply observe your thoughts. The second part of that instruction is observe your thoughts – but don’t judge, indulge, suppress or repress. Let thoughts come and go like clouds in the sky. Easier said then done. That’s why, as I said, there is conscious control in meditation. You are consciously watching your mind your mind is no longer controlling you.
On the less life-enhancing side, consider masochistic behavior. Pain it seems is better than the chaos that seeps into an unfocused mind. Hurting oneself physically or emotionally ensures attention can be focused on something that we control because we are the ones who created it. Think drug and alcohol abuse, compulsive sex or gambling. Suffice it to say that those acts aren’t going to lead to happiness in the long run.
FILLING MIND VS KILLING TIME
Sure we all need to relax. That’s what 8 hours of good sleep are for. Try an experiment sometime. Instead of doing the habitual TV/wine/late night snack, try something that requires a modicum of skill and engagement:
- memorize poetry,
- work with wood,
- really listen to piece of music,
- look deeply at art – or paint something yourself
It might take a little push to get out the door so speak, but just see what happens when you make the effort. You never know what can happen if you take a different path.
Leap and Net Will Appear,