- Living the Busy less Life!
Courtesy: Stalin, Mumbai
CLEAR THINKING by BR. MIKE GEORGE
Living the Busy less Life! We live in the age of ‘busy’. So much to do, with so little time. So it seems! Busy people not only do a lot, they think a lot. The origins of ‘busy’ are mental. Although there seems to be lots to do, busy people spend much of their time in the mind. There is much on their mind and they are in the middle of it. This mental activity is where tiredness also has its origins. Mental tiredness is a symptom of the self going against the grain of the truth about the self. It goes something like this.
Learning to Walk on the Ground of Being
When we create images/beliefs/ideas of or about the world out there in and on our mind, there is a tendency to jump into our own mind and then jump around from image to image, belief to belief, idea to idea. This is like Tarzan perpetually swinging through the jungle from rope to rope, without as much as a tea break! It’s as if he believes it is the only way to travel through the forest and he has completely forgotten two things – the ground and how to walk. Afraid of our own stillness we keep ‘scrolling’ up and down our mental to do list mentally swinging from task to task. Afraid of our own silence we keep creating noise of chattering thoughts to distract our self from what we might see or feel if we were inwardly quiet!
Being lost in thought, thinking constantly about things to do, what’s been done, what could have been done, what was done wrong, what should have been done but wasn’t, what others did, are doing, should do, must do, is not only tiring and a brilliant way to waste energy, it’s as if we have forgotten the very ground of our being which is still and silent. And it’s as if we have forgotten how to walk with one thought at a time, one idea at a time. This avoidance of the stillness that we are, this peace less preoccupation and perhaps eventually addiction to mental noise, is not only exhausting it also kills our capacity to contemplate and reflect which are vital to our decision making capacity and to our self-renewal.
Remembering Our Unlimitedness
All this incessant mental swinging between thoughts and ideas and images also goes against the grain of our true innate, infinite, unlimited being! Every time you become lost in thought it means exactly that – you are lost! It’s as if you trap and confine yourself within the thought/idea/image/concept that you have created on your mind. And that is unnatural to the very being that you are. Every thought/idea/image is small, tiny, and almost microscopic in scale compared to the vastness of ‘the self’. The ‘I’ that is consciousness is by nature unlimited and infinite. But we keep trying to make ourselves small by attaching to and losing our self in the very thoughts that we create. This is like standing in an art gallery with our nose literally touching a picture on the wall and then believing that what we see is all there is!
So how can we start to walk on the ground of our being and at least operate more like a ‘human being’ than a ‘human doing’? How can we find rest in the silence of our being without being afraid of what we may see? One way is to practice gazing into infinity.
Gazing Into Infinity
One of the ‘mental laws’ that can be found working in the world is often referred to as the law of correspondence which states that ‘as without, so within’. If parts of your desk or your bedroom are in chaos, it means it’s likely your mind can be chaotic and, in certain areas of your life, you probably find it hard to control and order your thoughts. A precursor to this mental law is a spiritual law which says, ‘as above, so below’, as in the spiritual so in the mental.
Have you ever stared at the night sky and found yourself staring into infinity with a sense of awe and wonderment? If you haven’t, try it tonight. Find a quiet spot and simply look out into the vastness of outer space. Several philosophers and many poets down through the ages have been inspired to record the profound feelings and inner awareness that this contemplation upon the unlimited seems to invoke. Why is this?
As you stare into the boundariless, infinite ‘outer space’, with no limit or end in sight, it reminds and evokes within you the reality of your own boundariless and unlimited ‘inner space’. If you would learn to meditate and thereby turn the eye of your attention and awareness within, if you would let your mind be quiet and allow your being to be still, you would rediscover, ‘as without, so within’. You would realize outer space is but a reflection of inner space. Both are vast and infinite spaciousness.
As you practice this meditation/contemplation it becomes progressively easier let go of the thoughts/images/memories that are pre-occupied with the details of worldly life. And as you do an awareness of your infinite spaciousness begins to open within you. All sense of self-limitation will gradually dissolve, not because you realize there is nothing you cannot do, but because you see that all that you have done and all that you do is of diminishing significance against the backdrop of your unlimited being. It’s small scale against the grand scheme of things. You would no longer become ‘trapped’ in past memories or swing between many projected worries as they are now more like occasional floating debris in the huge expansiveness of you. You would begin to hear and be deeply refreshed by the all-pervading silence of your own being!
And then there is stillness. The absolute stillness that exists in both outer and inner space. This stillness within your being is a stillness that contains such a deep inner peace, that once tasted, can free you from the cravings for anything that once seemed to bring you peace in the outer world.
To some, the night sky appears to be a dark and empty black mass above that contains nothing interesting apart from a few twinkling stars. After a while, they tend to find looking at outer space boring. They find little upon which to focus, so there is no stimulation, and they crave stimulation. They will find it hard to turn their gaze into their own inner space, at least until the mental noise of their cravings has become so intense and continuous that they seek some relief.
Outward focusing is a habit of busy eyes - our two physical eyes - which then keep our minds busy with thoughts and images of the world. This is of course a necessary part of day-to-day living. But it is also why, at the end of each day, both eyes and mind are tired. That’s when the night sky offers one of the most undiscovered forms of relaxation – staring at infinity. Look up tonight. Rest your gaze on the blackness. Allow yourself to stare out into the infinite universe. Feel your eyes relax, and your mind unwind, as they become free from the details of the day and any concerns for tomorrow. Allow your eyes to become still and your mind to be silent.
Then gently turn your awareness inwards and allow your inner eye to rest its gaze on the infinite and unlimited nature of your own being. As you do, behold an awesome inner sight and realise that the wonders seen ‘without’ are nothing compared to wonders that you may find, see and feel ‘within’. Search not for these wonders, be still, watch and wait, and they will make themselves known to you. When they do you will also see why much of the ‘busyness’ of living are but ways to avoid the beauty of being.
Question: What is an unlimited state of consciousness?
Reflection: The outer is a reflection and a projection of the inner – what do you see around you that reflects or projects what you feel within you.
Action: Take 10 minutes tonight and lie under the stars and gaze upwards into the darkness – allow your mind to be free and empty - but don’t force it in any way – watch for the feeling of spaciousness expand within you – embrace any sense of awe and wonder that emerges within your awareness – relax your body and your being … and be still.
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