View Full Version : Shedding light on the "Mind"
04-04-2005, 09:42 AM
All the wonderful and insightful posts on the forum yesterday, and Alissa's book and posts have really had me delving.
Last night when my husbands alarm went off at 2 am I got up and made him tea and saw him off to work. My mind then told me "Go make some toast..mm...crunchy yummy toast. And it wont hurt anything because it is no longer yesterday and not yet today-so it wont count."
LOL@my mind. I recognized the thought as hysterical and ridiculous. But had I had it at another time when I was tired or grouchy or needy--and would I have recognized the ridiculous of the thought then?
So this morning I realized my mind has been the leader most of my life. Now I have other ideas, and it is not in harmony with them, so I struggle internally.
This led me to realize the ONLY obstacle in my life IS my mind.....not food, not chocolate..not weight.
Wow-I had a list of things I considered obstacles and it was long. I have just crossed them all out and am left with 1. What is the saying? The mind makes a wonderful servant but a poor master?
So I have taken out a little journal to tote around with me for the next 30 days, and will write in it what my mind is telling me. My mind asked me to what end. lol I suppose this will bring into my conscious awareness what is going on behind the scenes . This will be my new 30 day challenge.
Has anyone ever tried this? I am curious to know to what end. Oh oops, no thats my mind that wants to know that. ;)
I recall Alissa's advice in a recent post on not fighting the mind and that was great , and some suggestions on what to tell it.
Anyone else know of ways to "train" the mind and bring it into harmony with the rest of me? ( I already meditate and pray so to speak) This suddenly feels like the key and I am curious to know more. Please share if you have a mind to...haha
04-04-2005, 09:56 AM
I'm sure the mind plays a big role. It reminds me of when I went to a TeamHoyt talk. The 60 yr. old dad pushes/pulls his quadriplegic 43 yr. old son through marathons and iron man triathalons. The dad said that everyone tells him he must be some super athlete, and he tells them that whether you can do it or not is all in the mind. If you think you can do it, then you can. I've thought about that on and off ever since I heard that, and I know it's true; a lot of what we do/don't do in life is because of our thoughts.
04-04-2005, 10:30 AM
Yup! The mind is something else, isn't it? In my work we call it the monkeymind as it chatters and chatters with no end.
Having done a lot of work with my own mind and how it created dis-eases and such, I know what you are talking about. Sometimes I envision Heckel on one shoulder and Jeckel on the other ~ one telling me to do one thing, the other telling me to do another. What I have to do is figure, which one is pointing me to aliveness, creativitiy and joy ~ and which to death, fear and possible destruction.
04-04-2005, 11:39 AM
monkey mind...how suitable....dont monkeys fling....uh..heehee ;)
"which one is pointing me to aliveness, creativitiy and joy ~ and which to death, fear and possible destruction. "
What a great statement Revvell.
Allison, I am realizing too that it is all in the mind. Why cant we take How to control your mind classes starting in kindergarden??
What an incredible man that father must be, wow.
Sharon in Colorado
04-04-2005, 11:55 AM
I've heard it called "monkey chatter".
Sweet G you wrote some funny stuff with your reasoning. It cracked me up - I could really identify.
I think we'll all come out pretty good in the end, huh?
04-04-2005, 01:13 PM
Hi there Sweetest Goddess!
want to respond to your comments on other thread later. but on subject of mind.
What i have learnt from meditation classes and experimenting about the mind:
The soul meant is born to be a King, i,e, self rulership is our natural state.
This king has three ministers through which he gets things done. This is like the energy of the soul used in three distinct different ways.
1) is the mind. which i like to see as a child. because it is very innocent, it just wants love and peace and runs wherever it gets it. it doesn't have wisdom to know if it is real thing or a cheap substitute. the mind creates thoughts and feelings, and therefore vibration and those vibrations attract, they create karmic reactions too. so i see the mind like a magnet, and like a child that needs direction
2) is the intellect. this is a completely different character. He, and i say He, because he is like a traditional father. his speciality is understanding, logic, reasoning, judgement and he ultimately makes the decisions. That is the part of us that reads of the facts about raw and say, wow that is the truth, i understand it!! But the intellect is also the minister who is most vulnerable to corruption. when the intellect is not clear, influenced by false beliefs etc, he becomes like a lawyer. He can argue black is white, white is black. He rationalises (i.e, rational lies) he tells you a little cooked is okay, i will start tomorrow. etc.
The intellect should direct the mind, but often the mind influences the intellect. like a child cries in the supermarket for choclate, until the father gives me. our minds keep asking, asking, asking, and it feels so uncomfortable to have an unfulfilled desire, and eventually like a weak father, the intellect gives into the mind, just for a moments peace. But of course once the father gives in, the mind, the child, next time, thinks, well if Dad gave into me last time, there is a good chance he will again, let me try. And off the mind goes, pestering us again and again for one more .... Like a child who hasn't had proper discipline, doesn't know the boundaries, so gets out of control, our mind is exactly the same. it wants limits, discipline, because then it becomes quiet.
3) the third minister is the Subconscious Mind. This includes, our habits, character, memories of everything we have done, and also our deep down divine personalty of love, peace, power, bliss etc.
I see this minister as the mother, full of beauty. But trampled over by life.
Every time the mind creates a desire and the Intellect gives in, then that desire is acted on through the body, that then leaves its mark in the subconscious. like a scar that gets deeper every time i repeat it. the UNNATURAL HABIT IS FORMED!
The original personality is perfect but because of the corruption of the intellect and therefore wrong actions, the character has been destroyed, then relationships, health, wealth, all else is affected.
Our intellect (husband) often insults the wife (personality). And blames it for the problems in our soul. If you didn't have this habit, if you weren't so greedy! But actually this dirt on the character is the direct result of the decisions he made! He wasn't taking his responsibility for decisions. And whats more!!! then he begins to look at the personality of other humans and compare them to his own wife, oh look that soul is sweeter than me! don't we do this to ourselves, our intellect judges our character as not good enough and we look up to others, gurus, whatever as better. And this makes our inner wife, feel real bad!
so we need some inner marriage councilling! Intellect needs to realise it's power to direct and decide, and keep himself awake, by constantly keeping truth in front, and listening to the conscience. which i see as a wise wizard, all kings need a wizard.
lastly! sorry this is a bit long!!!
when a baby is crying, it's not enough for the father to tell it to stop, shut up, it cries for a reason, it wants something. the intellect can use it's wisdom to discern that what it needs is not a chocolate bar, but real love. however it can't provide that love. that is where the mother comes in. just a father would hand over a crying baby to a mother, because she can provide sustenance. the intellect has to direct the mind inwards to the deepest original part of the personality, which is the source of love, peace, power, bliss within the self. There it can drink from the endless well which is there.
that is meditation. to let the mind be at rest in the arms of the mother, which is the pure love in the deepest part of the soul. That is my essence.
easy to remember when i am sitting quietly, but a challenge to remember when i am in action. i.e. at the fridge door, are my habits influencing my mind, is my mind influencing my intellect, is my intellect full of truth or false lies!
okay, sorry for the lecture!! i just love this topic, thanks for introducing it. this is the inner work that i really want to do.
04-04-2005, 01:40 PM
Oh my gosh..."we need some inner marriage councilling!" Love that metaphor rawruh. Thank you so much for your post...it gave me a lot to mull over. You hit the nail on the head with a lot of what you said.
I understand the relation of father/mother/child but I am uncertain what to correspond those to.
Obviously, the mind I know. :rolleyes: I am not sure what to relate your concept of intellect to. Consciousness? And your concept of the subconscious...Soul?
You are so right about it being much harder when in action....too true. Everything is always so calm and clear in meditation...well mostly lol.
But it doesnt stay that way the entire day. Interesting...I never think "oh you arent good enough", or "if i dont have chocolate I will cry" while in meditation. But I cant very well meditate all day...well maybe one could...but that is a level I dont feel near. So then....I guess I am trying to figure out...as usual...as in all areas...how do you stay in the perspective of Soul/True Self/Divine Self/Spirit.
hmmmmmm...and hmmmmm......and hmmmm some more.
Thanks for sharing with me--I love it!
And Sharon-yes, I believe we will. ;)
04-04-2005, 01:46 PM
Sweetgodess, what a wonderful idea! To keep the mind accountable for it's insanity not just for the moment but over time. Funny how in relationships with one another we tend to remember the past differently [but you said...]. Or perhaps that is only in my relationships. :) But we do this with ourselves, constantly renegotiating, reinventing the past to justify ego choices. What a brillient challenge you have presented for yourself! I'd like to join in, right now I'm fighting the nocotine monkey and she's a wild one!
04-04-2005, 02:23 PM
Yes - what you are doing is called stalking in the Eagle Knight Lineage of the toltec path.
We would do this ( I think I actually sent you an e-mail about this process? )
and it's a tool to become aware of your mind so you can have new choices instead of being stuck in a knee jerk reaction all the time.
awareness is the first step toward personal freedom.
without choice you can't really go anywhere but around the hamster wheel.
I practiced this daily for many years - and am starting to do it again around my reactions to anything happening outside of myself.
I know if I'm reacting I haven't cleaned up something from my past. If I ask myself what that feeling or reaction or exchange reminds me of - I can go all the way back to the original wound and choose to clean it up.
I think the next step would be to not take anything personally - meaning not to judge it as being right, wrong, good, or bad. And to not identify yourself with the way that your mind likes to talk with you. Because you are not that. You are just personalizing it because it's familiar...your mind romanticizes about the past and tries to hook your attention that way.
Once you start to have more and more awareness of what your mind is saying - you can also start to become less and less attached to it - and become a silent witness to it. Meaning - you hear it - you observe it - but you are no longer hooked by it.
Like - when I first quit smoking. I would smell someone else's cigarette and go right into a craving, feel uncomfortable, and have a lot of obsessing about needing it or how hard it is....etc.
I could listen to my inner chatter - but detach from it - not give it any energy - and then it would leave very rapidly. Now It doesn't even occur to me to want a cigarette. My mind gave up.
Just recently I had cravings for certain cooked foods. I said it outloud. let my mind think about it - then shifted my attention to something else. Went to a raw food conference, bought a book on raw foods that merged spirituality with nutrition. I can see the image of that food in my head but it no longer has the charge it did a few days ago.
I could go on and on about this as it is such a powerful tool toward becoming awake in your current "dream" and taking your power back. I love it.
04-04-2005, 02:30 PM
SweetGoddess - thanks for starting this thread! I can very much related to what you wrote in your original post. My silly little mind can really come up with some good ones sometimes and I appreciate what you say about my mind being the only obstacle IS my mind. . .
Not matter what "issue" have have battled in my life - weight,food in general, cooked food, alcohol, spending, my family, etc. . .the bottom line is always - each and every time - my mind and my thoughts. . .
I was taught a practice of viewing my thoughts as an outside observer ( a form of meditation) and when I actively do that, my life is generally so much smoother. . .but sometimes I get so overwhelmed by the things I think that I stop observing. . .so the suggestion of keeping a little journal to carry around sounds like a good way to reintegrate the consciousness of my thoughts back into my life. . .
I had an experience yesterday that, as I think about it more, sort of applies. . I was hiking yesterday - a beautiful day, a beautiful place - and the hike out was down hill the whole way. . .difficult enough but not horrible. . . the way back, I thought I was going to die. . . .I couldn't breath and each step was a struggle until we got to a more level place. . .my BF asked at one point, do you think you can make it? My response was that I didn't have a choice, really and if I allowed myself to just do it, rather than fighting it, I would be fine - it just might take me a long time to get to the end. . .which is what happened. . .I became very conscious of putting one foot in front of the other and in breathing. . .when things got too hard I would stop for a moment, catch up with myself and then move on. . . the usual banter of "monkey chatter" that I hear was absent after that moment of clarity. . .which made hiking a lot easier, too!
One of the biggest problems that I have is the self loathing that comes up for me about having a mind that tells me self-destructive things. . . .a very vicious circle, I must say and then I read what Rawruh wrote- I love the anology you give of the Soul as King and the mind, intellect and subconscious as the ministers. . .It fits very well for me and helps to put a few things into perspective, at least at this moment ;) A little inner marriage counseling does sound like it's in order. . .and maybe a little family therapy, too, because the child of my mind could use a little more structure in her life :o
Thanks for letting me share :D
04-04-2005, 03:02 PM
wow. this is fabulous.
Catherine I am glad you popped on today and happy to hear from you in this thread because it is our conversations together that gave me the idea to write down my mind chatter. I remember you telling me about stalking. Are you saying that just by becoming aware of what my mind is saying/directing, that it will fall away? Please say yes. lol and please feel free to go on and on about it. Really.
My husband has said to me often "sweetie we dont go from conditions to states, we go from states to conditions." Well suddenly I get that! But--now I want to know how to change my state. Where is the manual?
Christa-NO it is not just your relationships, believe me! Glad you're joining in :)
karotw~ you said "One of the biggest problems that I have is the self loathing that comes up for me about having a mind that tells me self-destructive things. . . .a very vicious circle, " Yes, I understand. Even knowing the value of the spiritual experience we gain from the challenges of the mind...I still have negative feelings about the fact that my mind challenges me at all!
Your hike sounds like a beautiful experience, on all levels. Sounds like you were really in the moment.
So far today my mind has said..." oh who cares really, just go have a hot chocolate"......" if the Buddha said all things in moderation he also meant chocolate..." ( HAha)....."are you kidding yourself, you think you can do this forever"...."would 5% cooked really make a difference?" I wrote them down.
04-04-2005, 05:26 PM
<<The soul meant is born to be a King, i,e, self rulership is our natural state.
This king has three ministers through which he gets things done. >>
This reminds me so much of one of my mentors, Charlotte Mason. She wrote about our inner selves as "The Kingdom of Mansoul" and all of our capabilities as ministers, and our desires and things as counselors to be heeded, but not allowed to run the show. Only as we rule our own ministers and internal voices can we be in control of our own lives.
04-04-2005, 05:58 PM
hmm looking up Charlotte Mason.
I read today that Self-Mastery is a here and now thing. I looked in all the cracks and cranny's and even under the couch but cant seem to find it anywhere!?!
04-04-2005, 08:29 PM
Charlotte Mason was an educational theorist, she's known in some homeschooling circles. She was writing back around the turn of the century. Her book about the Kingdom of Mansoul is called Ourselves and she wrote it to help her students gain mastery over themselves. You can read it online here:
It's probably of more interest to homeschoolers than raw-foodists, but the similarity struck me.
<<I looked in all the cracks and cranny's and even under the couch but cant seem to find it anywhere!?!>>
04-04-2005, 09:24 PM
Today was my first really insecure, unsettled day with raw food. I was sooo hungry for something ELSE than what I was eating, not even a specific something, just something ELSE.
Hubby came home hungry and asked me to fix him a PB&J. I don't even like straight peanut butter, but I damn near dug a big handful right out of the jar, and I knew that it wouldn't taste good to me. It was the IDEA of the familiar that I suddenly craved.
Raw foods are still "foreign" foods to be eating all the time. I realized today that I feel like I'm visiting a foreign country since going raw. Yeah, most of what I'm eating is pretty good, but it just ain't got that "taste of home."
Except that I know that you can't chew your way back home again just as you can't go there again. I KNOW that SAD foods, especially the horrid ones I've been craving wouldn't taste good since they generally smell just awful to me now. But, the idea of them, the memory of chewing favorite foods, the texture, the aroma, and how the flavor spread through my mouth--that's what I still haven't been able to transfer to raw foods. I guess they just aren't familiar enough yet. I have lots of raw foods that I like, but I don't have any yet that I'm anywhere near as wild about as I was about SAD favorites, nothing much that I want to eat as much as I did favorite SAD things.
So, I dunno if that's just my mind breaking those old ties to bad-food favorites and searching for new favorites to get excited about. I know that dwelling on such thoughts is pointless as eating as I used to made me feel just awful. I don't want to feel that bad again, but I sure would like to feel as excited about eating now and just can't. And yet, I know that reluctant detachment isn't truly detachment.
I guess I just keep on keeping on, hoping that eventually I'll get as excited about raw food as I used to about...well, all that other food stuff or maybe that it will quit mattering, that food and eating certain foods won't be nearly as important as I still wish they could be. < sigh > :confused:
04-04-2005, 10:05 PM
Have you made the raw chili, the recipe Yani posted? That does the trick for me. I try to keep some in the fridge so I can just grab it when the need for "real food" strikes. The sundried tomatoes give it a chewy, meaty texture and the thickness and spices are like real chili.
04-04-2005, 10:54 PM
Pailani, thanks for sharing that link. I read the first few chapters. Very interesting read. I liked these statements:
"Hunger a Servant, Gluttony a Ruler"
"Let each of the Appetites, so necessary to our bodies, be our servant and not our master, and remember, above all things, that sin and slavery to any Appetite begin in our thoughts. It is our thoughts that we must rule, and the way to rule them is very simple. We just have to think of something else when an evil thought comes, something really interesting and nice, with a prayer in our hearts to God to help us to do so. "
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