Have you ever listened to children talking to each other? I mean really listened to the things they say; their conversations. It's really quite entertaining. The other thing I find entertaining is listening to people excitedly talking about T.V. shows they watch.
I've spend most of the day today in this space of observation. In addition to observing others around me I've also been observing the random thoughts in my own mind and watching how these thoughts affect my mood. I watched my mind take a small random thought and toss it around in my mind until I had created an entire "soap opera" in my head. Someone saying something in passing, which they probably don't remember once it leaves their lips, my mind has obsessed over it. "What did she mean by that?" "Did I do something to offend her without even noticing?" "Should I ask her to clarify?" on and on......
Do you ever just observe your thought process? Try it. It's really entertaining. I don't know why people even bother to watch TV when there is so much to watch in our own minds. Sometimes there's a drama, sometimes a circus, and other times there might be a comedy going on. It's reality TV right here in our minds!!
I often wonder what the thought process is when I hear people say "I don't have time to meditate (or read, do yoga, etc.)". These are usually the same people who can tell you every detail of every TV show on the night before.
I challenge you to turn off the TV and watch the "show" that's going on in your mind. Notice how your thoughts affect your breathing, how they affect your emotions.
Once you start to notice how your thoughts affect your emotional state think about the things you're watching on TV or the Movies you watch. Consider for a moment how those impressions affect your state of mind and the state of your emotions.
Once you've experienced this you can begin to grasp the concept that YOU ARE NOT YOUR MIND. The yogis ask "If you can watch your mind than tell me who's doing the thinking and who's doing the waching?" Once your realize that you are not your mind, you realize that you have the option to change your mind, change your thoughts. You don't have to stay in that state of anger or sadness if you don't want to.
How do we change our thoughts? For me, it's mantra meditation and yoga. Sometimes seated meditation is too challenging when the mind is running at 100mph. That's when Yoga can help. When my mind has been hi-jacked by that "drunken monkey" I like to do a vigorous asana practice before I meditate. It's a very effective tool for stilling the mind.
If you're interested in learning more about how to develop your own personal sadhana (spiritual practice), come join me at Yoga On Main, April 8th at 6:30pm. Details can be found at www.yogaonmain.com
Please feel free to email me with comments, questions, feedback.