In meditation and Qigong practices, I often hear people discuss how to use the mind and how to stop the mind. It seems that a lot of us are struggling with mental problems.
Is our mind the problem?
We think that our mind is the problem. Yes, our mind never stops creating thoughts. But no, our mind is not the problem. So what is the problem?
Now let’s do this test: try to stop your mind from thinking about what you are doing now, and try as hard as possible. I know you can’t. No one can. The mind never works that way. Because the harder ask our mind to stop, the more it will continue to do what we ask it to stop.
How our mind works
We need to understand that this is how our mind works: there is not just one busy monkey in our mind. A few of them exist and like to gang up and chat with each other a lot. They are very chatty. As long as you are awake, they are active in chat.
Once they gang up and chat about some issue in our life, even though it’s a minor issue or a temporary one, it suddenly becomes a large issue and will make us feel like it used to be and will always be the issue. We have to understand that that is the monkey mind’s job. It cannot exist without jobs. If there’s no issue, it will create some issue by itself.
Awareness which separates reality from illusion
I am sure you have realized some issues created by your monkey mind. Or maybe you haven’t realized any of its tricks yet, you very much believe that you do have a lot of real issues, such as weight issues, allergy issues, digestion issues, sleep issues, diabetes issues, self-esteem issues, depression issues, relationship issue and so on. That’s okay; one day, you will realize that they are what your monkey mind makes you believe once your awareness is enhanced.
Actually, everyone has self-awareness. Even though you say that you do not have self-awareness, you have. Because you are aware of that! 😄
However, everyone’s awareness is at a different level. We can enhance our awareness level. How? We need our monkey mind to cooperate with us on that. That’s how. You probably would say: not a chance! I can’t even stop my monkey mind; how could I ask it to cooperate with me?!
How to make our minds cooperative?
At any time during the day, we can do this practice. Especially at the very moment when we feel stressed, angry, tangled, grumble, depressed, or whatever, do the practice.
You shall try other ways of stress relief and find out what’s the best for you.
With that practice, you will find that those issues which usually trigger strong feelings or emotions become less of an issue. And your mind becomes more cooperative and calm when it needs to be.