A good number of people are so used to doing that they are not able to just sit and be still. It seems as if they are afraid of silence. Maybe you have noticed that your mind becomes hyperactive when you try to be still. You do not like what shows up and so you completely avoid being still. Perhaps when you are alone and the room is silent, you feel some form of pain showing up. You want to feel good and not feel the pain so you do something that will make the pain go away. But does the pain really go away?
If you become still and you notice your mind coming up with different kinds of thought, or some form of pain showing up, that is an opportunity for you to misidentify from your mind. If you could remain still regardless of the discomfort you may feel initially, you will get to create a space, a space for the thought or pain to simply be as it is. Actually, you will not be creating space because you are the space; you are the space in which the thought shows up. Usually, when thought shows up, you do something to make the thought go away. You go watch a movie, get on social media, go out, or do some other thing.
But the thought has not really gone away. You have succeeded in obstructing yourself from the thought. So the thought is still there, lingering somewhere in you. What should you do? You should be still. Allow the thought to be. Do not think; do not try to understand the thought; do not try to know where the thought is coming from; do not judge the thought; do not want to do anything to the thought. Just allow the thought to be. As you remain still you will get to see that you are not your thought. There is the thought and here I am, I am therefore not my thought.
This is misidentification from the thought; it is misidentification from your mind. You feel the space surrounding the thought. Continue to allow the thought to be and that space will dissolve the thought, so to speak. This may not happen in a day. It happens over time as you continue your practice of stillness. Whereas the thought has been so powerful that it dominated your mind, it will begin to lose its momentum. When you are still, you are present and the thought is no match for your Presence. The thought will eventually be dissolved. By this I mean that the thought will be transmuted into consciousness.
I have used thought to show how you can be free from the thought in your head. The same process applies for pain. Thought arises in the mind and pain is your body’s reaction to the thought. So ultimately what is happening is a misidentification from your mind. Let us go deeper into this.
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