There are many consciously awakening people that wish to stop thinking. The desire is to reduce the number of thoughts in the mind. Thus, allowing space. This space nurtures conscious awareness. Meditation is becoming more and more popular for this very reason. Still, the mind is similar to a Library card catalog.
Thus, the mind can cause frustration for individuals during the conscious awakening process. This is because everyone uses the mind in attempts to create a state of non-thinking. We can logically conclude that this is impossible. Using the mind to reach a state of non-thinking is similar to what Albert Einstein once said about problem solving. We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
But, we can practice going beyond the mind. Does this sound absurd? So, what does this actually imply? The mind always processes information. Countless thought impulses demand our attention each moment. Must we listen? Should we jump when the mind tells us? No, of course not. But this unconscious state is still how the majority of people live life. So, how can we make thoughts stop? We cannot. This is impossible. Therefore, why don’t we simply acknowledge and accept the mind’s activities. This is, with practice, easier than it sounds. The mind’s library card catalog lists everything we experience. The mind readily gives us one or more index cards in the form of thoughts or emotions. But, presence, more so, experiencing presence doesn’t require the mind. (I realize that the mind is now telling you that I am naïve, crazy or both.)
Library Index Cards of the Mind Contain our Thoughts
Do you remember how it was in the school library with your friends? My class had a free period three times a week. We spent this free class period in the library. This gave us an opportunity to research material for our school work. Now these two examples are closely related to how you use the mind in any situation. We can unconsciously (as the autopilot) follow the mind’s lead. Or, preferably, we can observe the mind in a state of aware presence. This is the consciousness (being/isness) that is always beyond the mind.
The school librarian was strict with us during our visits to the library. The card index catalog was usually off-limits. However, the librarian gave us access when we had a clear understanding of what we wanted. We can shorten this article considerable by summarizing our discussion through the following insight. A state of non-thinking or total awareness is possible through conscious use of the mind’s library card catalog.
First realize that the mind is always thinking. 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts per day equals 35 to 48 thoughts per minute. There are perhaps 5 from these 48 T.P.M. that are relatively significant. This means they have a practical purpose for our existence. On the other hand, 43 thoughts are literally mind trash. They are simple products of the processes occurring through mind and bodily interaction with any situation. It is beneficial to understand that (the mind does what it does.) This means that the mind is only the keeper of thoughts, feelings, etc. However, you (universal consciousness) determine what to do with these thoughts. How? Through simple awareness. Thus, and more significant, you can also decide what NOT to do with these thoughts.
“The snow goose need not bathe to make itself white. Neither need you do anything but be yourself.”
– Lao Tzu
We can use the image of a card index catalog to practice non-thinking. The key to this practice is awareness. This intertwines with being in the now. Consider the mind to be an index catalog. The true conscious self is responsible for browsing the card catalog. Likewise, the universal self should and can either choose or disregard any given card (thought). It is that simple. It is true that this takes practice but it is obtainable for each person. This occurs during the process of conscious awakening.