Who Are You, and What Are You?

What Is Your Real Purpose in Life?

Where Do You Live?

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No, I’m not talking about your snail mail address. What I’m asking is where in your body/mind do you spend your time? Has it ever occurred to you that you have choices about where you, that is, your inner being, can reside in that physical bodily conveyance you use to get around in?

It’s interesting to ask people this question, because (a) most people have never really thought about it and, (b) when they actually think about it, they realize that all of their waking time is spend in the conscious mind. Barely one person in a hundred in western societies is able to get away from their conscious thought stream while they’re awake.

Add to that, research has shown the conscious mind to be about five percent of the whole mind. Thus, if your total life experience is limited to living only in your conscious mind, it’s like owning a palace and living in the coat closet.

One of the most beautiful aspects of practicing Original Zen is learning to separate yourself from your conscious thought stream and thereby being able to become an observer of the conscious mind. By observing it, you’re also better able to control it. Oh, and train it, too. Which means you’ll be able to do things with your mind you might have never imagined. Not the least of which is noticing some of the self-damaging behaviors caused by your conscious mind—and correcting them.

In my own case, learning to shut down my noisy mind at night so I could get a night of restful sleep was my first huge benefit from Zen meditation. It’s been one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever received, and it didn’t cost me a penny.

Written by Eduardo Mitchell

December 28, 2014 at 1:50 pm

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