Where is the Mind?

Some people will insist that the mind is tied to the brain, but people who have spent time studying Consciousness and Awareness know that the mind is not that local or specific. When you meditate, you can observe the mind and see what it is up to. I like to put my awareness on my breath.

As my mind begins to wander off, complain about sitting, think about what I’m going to say to someone, make “to do” lists, etc., I can notice it and let it go. I don’t care to engage it. I let the thoughts float away. And put my awareness on my breath again. No judgment (hopefully). Just being. Just awareness.

Am I my Mind? Am I my personality? Who is the “me that notices the mind and returns to noticing the breath? If I am noticing my mind as a separate thing, then I am clearly not my mind.

I believe the mind is an aspect of us that we develop (most of us over develop) in order to cope with the illusion that we experience as life. The illusion seems so real. For most people, the illusion is difficult and full of challenges.

I have met people who are frantic about how to find enough food to feed their kids today. I have met people who are overwrought because the person they are competing with for best sales person might win. I have met people who say their life is a disaster because they are overweight or cannot get a lover.

And I remember meeting a woman 30 years ago who came for a reading. She was in a $6000 linen dress and was freaked out because she was getting divorced and was going to have to get by on $30 million dollars. She was crying as she said, “I can’t live on $30 million dollars!” At the time I made about $30 thousand dollars a year, so I was astonished that someone who had a thousand times more than me felt impoverished.

No matter what a person’s state of well-being or status or wealth, they mostly contrive their struggles within this illusion. If they are very attached to their struggles and to being right, they will spend a great deal of time defending them. They will weave a clever story that “proves” that they are correct in stating their difficulties. I know this because I used to do it all the time. And I still catch myself doing it once in a while.

If we understand that we are the creators (through thought and mind) of everything we condemn and defend, then we can (gently) stop without condemning and choose to create differently. Choose to create consciously.

If we spend time in meditation, in awareness and consciousness we can observe the mind with non-judgment and get to know what it tends to do when left (like a little kid) to get into trouble. Just as we want to provide some guidance and direction to the child, we can do that with the mind, as well.

Copyright © 2009 by Victoria Young