Life is beautiful. There is nothing other than Life. Life is within you; Life pours out from you. Everything everywhere is Life. Life is Being. You are Life. Offer all that you are in praise and thanks to all of Life.
Sometimes my mind gets in the way. I like to think that most of the time I have a handle on my mind and the thoughts that come out of it, but sometimes it just ain’t so. I’m an air sign (Aquarius), which is associated with the mind, and the air aspect means my mind can be prone to being airy…flighty. I am thankful for the people and influences that keep me grounded when my mind/thoughts have a mind of their own.
I love my mind; it is very strong and capable. But what that means sometimes is that when it goes off on one of its “flights”, in a direction that I don’t necessarily want, I have a hard time getting it back on track and headed in the direction I want it to go. This is one reason I work to keep my mind on track: it takes a lot of effort to get it back on track if it drifts.
This has been the case much of this Journey so far, as it is today. My mind has been going its own direction, and I’ve had to work really hard to keep it right, like fighting with a steering wheel on a badly misaligned car.
Knowing this about my mind, I have over the years collected a toolbox full of instruments that by-pass my mind and “speak” (if you will) to those parts of me that do not rely on the mind.
The parts that don’t rely on my mind are: my emotions, my body, spirit/soul, and subtle energy bodies. These could perhaps collectively be called the subconscious, but I think they are also much more than the subconscious.
The tools I have which I have mentioned here before are: taking baths (cleanses the emotional body), breathing (cleanses the internal physical body and connects the body to Soul/spirit), Shiva Nata (breaks up old mental patterns and creates new, dynamic mental connections), and sitting with fire (cleanses the subtle energy system, especially burning away anger and hostility). (For more information click here and here.)
I consider all of these tools to be mystical: I don’t know how they work or why. I can neither understand nor can I explain them rationally. Understanding of these tools is only developed through their use, and even so, the understanding is not about the tools themselves; the understanding goes beyond the tools into an understanding of the experience of Life itself.
During those times when my mind wants to go its own direction, to control how I perceive or interpret, or to convince me that it is right, I feel an invisible battle going on between my mind and everything else (the things the mystical tools speak to). The battle, of course, is one-sided: my mind fights; everything else simply remains calm and watches my mind flail (not without at least a little amusement). Because my mind cannot—and never will—understand my Soul, my energy-bodies, my emotions, it thinks what I learn through my tools “must be” inferior to itself, and therefore my mind thinks it has the right to (try to) dominate those things.
My mind, though is trapped in its own nature, a nature of dualism:
Rational-irrational (anything the mind doesn’t understand)
Life is One, of course the mind can’t understand. Life is of the mind and in the mind, but it is also more than mind. Mind—no-mind—beyond mind. Oneness is all-inclusive. Because the mind cannot understand Oneness, it cannot understand Life; it feels threatened and lashes out against what it does not understand. How can you talk to a frog in a well about the ocean?
Once a frog from the ocean came to a well and became acquainted with the frog living in the well. The well frog asked, “From where do you come?” The ocean frog responded, “I have come from the ocean.”
The well frog asked, “Is it bigger than this well?” Of course he was suspicious; doubt was in his mind—how could anything be larger than his well?
The ocean frog chuckled and said, “It is very difficult to say anything, because there is no measure.”
The well frog said, “Then I will give you a measure, so you can say.” And the well frog jumped one-quarter the width of the well and said “Is it that big?”
The ocean frog observed and said, “No.”
So the well frog jumped one half the width of the well. “Is it that big?”
The ocean frog laughed and said, “No”
The well frog then jumped three quarters the width of the well and asked, “Is it that big?”
Again the ocean frog said, “No.”
Then the well frog jumped the full length of the well and said, “Now, now you cannot say ‘no’”
The ocean frog said, “You may feel hurt, and I do not want to be offensive, but the answer is still no”
The well frog said, “Get out of here, you liar. Nothing can be bigger than this well.”
Sometimes my mind is like a frog in a well.
Life itself is a mystical experience…when the mind gets on board and includes itself in Life, rather than excluding Life from itself.