Are You Your Thinking Mind
Have you ever wondered if you are your thinking mind or have you simply taken it for granted. The following is an exercise designed to help you determine whether you are your thinking mind or pure conscious awareness. So without any further ado, here's the exercise.
Start by closing your eyes and taking three to four deep breaths. Inhale through your nose and fill up your lungs up all the way, then hold your breath for a second, and then exhale through your mouth, emptying your lungs fully. Focus your attention on your breathing to the exclusion of all else.
Now, after you've taken three to four deep breaths, you should be feeling quite relaxed. Breathe in a normal rhythm and try not to "think" any thoughts, simply watch for thoughts to arise in your mind--the way sudden, intuitive thoughts might seem to pop into your mind. The goal here is to see how long you can go before thinking a thought.
My experience over the years practicing this exercise has lead me to believe that who we are, in essence, is conscious awareness. When I notice new thoughts--thoughts I haven't had before--suddenly pop into my mind (or I should say into my awareness), I can't help but ask the question: Where do these new thoughts come from? It's very similar to the experience many people have, including myself, when they are about to go to sleep, and suddenly, random images (phantasmagoria) begin to appear in their mind. Some of the images I've seen were quite unique; some I'm certain I had never seen before. Once, there were mysterious mathematical or hieroglyphic images engraved on a tablet that showed up a couple of times within a few nights. That was many years ago, but the experience was so unique, I've always remembered it. Again, where do these random images and thoughts come from? My guess is the collective unconscious, as Carl Jung first coined the term. When we are in a very quiet state, we have access to thoughts and images collected from humanity's experiences.
But what about our thinking mind? What about the thoughts we seemingly create with our mind? To answer that question, let's go back to when we were babies or even to when we were in our mother's womb. Not that we're going to have recall of any of that. But it seems evident that thinking is something we develop as we grow. And our thinking revolves around our awareness of what is going on around us. We witness life through our awareness (through our senses), and then we have feelings about what we witness, and then we have thoughts about our feelings. Eventually we develop belief systems based on our thoughts and feelings. You could even say that conscious awareness is the hub around which the wheel of thinking turns. But as we get older, our thinking mind becomes predominant, and we develop patterns of thinking that we repeat from one day to the next. It's been said that 95% of the thoughts we have today are the same thoughts that we had yesterday. Essentially, we're on auto pilot. Somewhere along the way we sublimated our conscious awareness and replaced it with our thinking mind.
There's no question we have a mind capable of thinking and organizing thoughts. But I don't believe that's who we truly are. When we slow down our thoughts, our conscious awareness becomes heightened and focused (self-hypnotic state), and there are many advantages to this. In this state of pure conscious awareness, we can practice meditation, creative thinking, self-hypnosis; we can open ourselves to intuitive or inspirational thoughts; we can explore our true nature; and we can relax and allow our tensions and worries to melt away. This is also the state of mind in which we are able to effectively create changes in our lives. A truly wonderful and powerful state of being.
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