“How can I switch off the noisy mind?” I get this question a lot. It shows how most people feel about the voice in their head – at least those who are already conscious of it. Many people want to be liberated from compulsive thinking, at least for some times during their day-to-day life. To go beyond worries, fears and hopes, regrets and memories for a little while – this is what we all really want! Trust me, even if we don’t know it yet, we all want to experience true happiness. And it can be found beyond the thinking mind. So in this article I will give you a few tips that can help to release thoughts.
Release thoughts by turning your attention somewhere else. You can direct your mindfulness to the silent gaps that exist in between the verbalized thoughts in your head. Notice when the voice in your head takes a breath, when it waits, when it is stunned into silence etc. Everybody experiences gaps all the time, it’s just that we never notice them. All our attention is usually caught up in the noise.
One of the easiest and fastest ways therefore is to relax your awareness into these gaps. After each mental full-stop/period – THAT’s the one. Allow your mind to continue thinking. It can think as usual while you wait for the gaps. Wait like a cat in front of a mouse hole. And as soon as the next thought comes to an end BAM – right there – a moment of glorious silence. You can hear the sound of the washing machine in the distance, the birds outside, the waves of the sea gently caressing the shore, your six year old kid playing happily with the chainsaw… WAIT A SECOND!!!
You get the point. You can hear, feel and be aware of whatever there is – just without any narrative or labels. And if that lasts for a few seconds you did a great job as you noticed it! Congratulations my friend, you are now almost a Jedi!
You can also release thoughts by increasing the clarity of your mindfulness. If you are hearing the birds outside, don’t just hear the birds. You want to notice all the details. Have you ever noticed just how many birds there are and how all their voices form an amazing background? Don’t just hear the wind – be aware of the millions of leaves fluttering above your head. It’s so many of them – MINDBLOW!
Seriously, how can nature NOT leave you in a state of witnessing magic? Just listen to how intricate all the sounds are, how well balanced, how interesting their vibratory dance actually is. Pay attention to the feelings in your body. They move like wind, sometimes they slowly expand in your chest before rushing through your arms. After that the feeling turns into an almost solid substance within your right knee and suddenly it tickles up your spine. How can this not amaze you? So sharpen your mind, be stunned speechless by natures awesome display of energy.
This method is a bit more difficult, but some of you will get it intuitively. The trick is that whenever you are listening to someone you can actually notice that your own mind is quiet while listening to the other person talk. When you become more familiar with this listening attitude of the mind, you can use this trick on your own thoughts. The next time your mind thinks about how awesome it’s going to be once your friends notice that you have actual superpowers, stop right there! Notice that you can listen to your own thoughts? Good! Can you also experience the silence of the listener itself? Genius!
This trick is awesome but you would have to try it out and make it work. The idea is that the listening part within your mind is already silent. And all it takes is to become aware of that silent listener. Done! Your thoughts have no chance and you are one step closer to ruling the world.
While these tricks are all about going beyond the thinking mind, they have absolutely nothing to do with aggression. You should not attempt to get rid of, annihilate, exterminate, harass, throw out, fire, kill, barbecue, plasma-blast or smash your thoughts. It will NOT work! Any act of aggression and ill-will towards yourself or parts of yourself result in inner resistance. You don’t want your mind to turn against you in the form of an underground revolution. Acting as a dictator will not make your thoughts go away! It will make the thoughts turn against the dictator eventually.
The point is not that your thoughts should leave you alone – the point is for you to leave your thoughts alone. This is how inner peace can grow, my dear friends.
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