Be aware of how easily the mind can slip into an old routine, how easily an old habit can pop up, how the slightest hint of an old nostalgia can trigger an old desire. But as easily as the mind can slip back into an old place so can your spirit slip in and tell you a different story, give you a different idea, shift you into a different state. When the mind conjures call upon the spirit. Find it in a deep breath, in a heart centered, loving thought of a new day’s unfolding and all the possibilities it holds. As the sun rises let its light shift you into a creative, loving and kind place. Think of someone else with kindness and compassion, let the old conjuring mind go, and move onward now. It’s the most responsible thing to do, for self and other, but do it with love in your heart and all will be well.
Notice how thoughts come to help or hinder. Unbidden they enter the sphere of your awareness and tell you this or that, taking control and seizing your attention. Attend to them by countering with empty mind, with a mind of no thought, for an empty mind is a place where the creative may flourish, where the Great Oneness may find you. In the empty room of your empty mind, wisdom, clarity, and love may find a home, come unbidden as well, but oh, so much more welcome! Study your own mind and how your thoughts come to control and trick you, how they may even enslave you in doing that which you would not. Turn from them and let your mind be open and pure instead. And then see what happens!
Don’t let worry eat your energy or overtake your mind. Worry creates more worry and thus a whole cascade of symptoms manifest due to worry. And what is worry but a thought, a conjured idea, an aberration, an irritation, a thing best left untouched. For indeed, worry can poison, infect, and infest. When worry comes knocking, refuse it like the plague! If your mind needs something to think about give it something soothing and positive, give it nice stories and pleasant dreams, give it something good to mull over. As soon as you smell worry in the air, tell it to go away, and breathe in the soft calming air of positivity, good health, and sweet loving kindness. You can do nothing better for yourself. Refuse your worrisome mind with some good wholesome fun and good natured play. And remember, if worries are nothing more than conjured ideas, then there really is nothing to worry about! Worry less, have more energy.
Keep an open heart but also an open mind, for the mind does conjure ideas that the heart cannot get in alignment with. A closed and narrow mind can take over and forget about the heart, but the heart stays true to its original intent no matter what the mind decides. You know this already in the ache in your heart, in its longing, in its deepest desire for expression. Keep your heart strong and active and keep your mind in alignment with your heart’s good intentions. In heart centeredness anchor your mind so that it will know its true guide and decision maker, your deepest inner self. Live from the heart.
The Shamans of Ancient Mexico were definitive in their designation of the mind as an outside entity that has become a permanent member of the human being. In modern biological terms we might view the mind as a symbiotic partner that both preys upon and contributes to our human experience.
The parasitic quality of the mind is most evident in the experience of worry. The Shamans of Ancient Mexico observed how the mind generates empty concerns that are fueled by the fires of obsessive worry. This fiery fury excites the central nervous system and generates an energetic intensity that actually serves as the food for the parasitic entity.
Earlier this week Jan’s dream of the loud knocks on the door reminded me of living on West 86th Street in New York City in my early twenties. I’d lie in bed at night and toss and turn, terrified that someone was going to attempt to break in. We lived in a very secure 24-hour doorman building, yet my fears culminated in my getting up and barricading the double-locked and chained front door with several chairs.
In the light of day those nightly terrors would easily be forgotten or dismissed, but the residue agitation in the central nervous system could lead to attaching to many daytime concerns. The truth is, however, that worry is a product of the mind. Its conjurings impact the body’s central nervous system to generate an excited energy for its own consumption. This action by the mind is similar to a cancer cell that seeks to enter and feed off the energy of the cells around it with little concern for the well being of the host it is destroying.
Interestingly, another function of the mind, rationality, actually provides the necessary tool to counter and overcome the deleterious impact of worry. From an existential here and now place, the rational mind can take responsibility for where we place our attention. In the face of the extraordinary pull to fixate on the conjuring creation, the rational mind is free to decide to shift its attention, i.e.: “I can choose where I put my attention.”
I can choose to place my attention on my breath. I can choose to place my attention on a chakra, to tune into the state of sensation in my heart. I am free to breathe into and expand my heart center, my solar plexus, my throat, my head. I am free to say the words of a prayer. I am free to repeat a mantra. No one and nothing can take away my right to place my attention where I want it. And with that I can effect a shift in my central nervous system. I can restore the calm that the predator seeks to disrupt. This may take continuous effort, but if I am persevering the predator gives up.
And so, like most challenges that we encounter, there is a valuable polarity to our divided mind that offers excellent and immediate opportunity for evolutionary advancement. The predator instigates trouble through its worrisome conjuring, yet simultaneously it offers us the awareness of freedom of choice through the rational mind. If we use this tool of choice to subdue the predator we reclaim our power of attention, and a calm central nervous system to boot. Longterm results are increased consciousness and control. With this powerful mindset firmly in place we are prepared for deeper journeys into the ever unfolding mysteries of life, and beyond.