Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Mind by Esther Veltheim

Thoughts are the tension.
Ramesh S. Balsekar

“Thoughts are the tension.” The first time I read Ramesh’s words they struck me like a sledge-hammer. Immediately I knew he was right. It isn’t that I had not experienced stressful thoughts before. But, I had never before recognized that ALL tension is the result of thoughts.

Meditation had always been something I did in spurts. I would suddenly be filled with Bhakti and for weeks would devote myself to ritual and meditation. Then I would go a month or so with nothing. Although meditation served to calm my mind and bring a deep sense of wellbeing, I didn’t relate to meditation as a daily practice. When I tried to implement that it felt contrived.

When I read Ramesh’s words there rose up in me an urgency to understand why thoughts persist and to understand the nature of mind; my mind in particular. In and of itself this exploration became my meditation, engaging my focus almost every waking moment.

In this process I invented various exercises for myself. Probably they are not unique to me, but there is one I would like to share with you here, just in case you have never tried it for yourself. 

The following exercise will be somewhat demanding. It will require tremendous attention and alertness towards your thoughts, words and actions….and a strong dose of self-honesty.

This exercise requires a pen and pocket notepad. Preferably avoid using a mechanical device for this.
The duration of this exercise is an entire day, beginning when you wake up to when you go to bed. Using a symbol of your choosing, note down every single time you make an assumption.
At the end of the day tally your symbols and, in your notepad, write down your experience of the day. Next morning, read through your account and see if there is anything you can add.

Note: Beware of assuming an outcome! You might be surprised.

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