Today in meditation, I had the sensation of my brain unwinding like a spring, gradually loosening and relaxing. I have experienced this before and each time I had no idea of the tension I was holding in my head until the releasing and relaxing occurred.
We are such thinking beings and spend a great deal of time exercising our brain. Encouraged by our culture, we work hard at being quick witted, making smart choices, coming up with creative solutions, and responding quickly to someone else’s ideas with our opinions and critiques. Our brain can be a useful and powerful tool.
The problem comes when we can’t shut our thoughts down and relax. The problem comes when we are consumed, sometimes imprisoned by our thoughts and believe that is all we are.
Often we get lost in thought—reliving childhood and early adult memories, reworking recent events, projecting into the future how we would like an experience to unfold. These thoughts can leave us depressed or disempowered by the analysis of our less than perfect response and anxious with worry about future outcomes
We are so much more than our thoughts—we are in our very essence unconditioned consciousness. In meditation we observe the stream of thoughts rolling through our head and, with practice, we detach from them, viewing them as clouds drifting by. Then we experience ourselves being the observer who is beyond thought.
Through the habit of sitting in stillness daily, following our breath and detaching from the stream of thought, we access a much deeper stream of consciousness that has the potential for pure relaxation, wisdom and connection to all that is.
We can tap into the wisdom, the deeper knowing that arises through simply giving something our full attention. In the case of meditation, it can be as simple as following the breath. This is the beginning of the shift from thinking to aware presence.
As Eckhart Tolle says in Stillness Speaks, “Mastery of life is the opposite of control. You become aligned with the greater consciousness. It acts, speaks, does the works”.