While we eat, we think about the errands for the following day and at the next moment we send a text message. This is our daily routine: we live in a multitasking world where in diverse areas of our lives we are valued for our capacity to think in many directions at the same time. The Buddhists called this agitated mental state the monkey mind; a chaotic movement that can destabilize the being.
During the daytime we feel proud of ourselves for our rapidity, but when the night falls we can experience a mental fatigue and we can find it difficult to rest deeply or be at peace. In our societies we can recognize that this excessive activity has brought us efficiency and benefits, but at the same time we should be conscious that these accelerated states for the individual are causes of exhaustion, insomnia and anxiety.
As various traditions from the Orient have shown us, our life is governed by our mental being. If we carefully observe ourselves, we live in a roller coaster ride of intertwining thoughts and this stream is only interrupted with tiny moments, when our Self (body, emotions and mind) is captivated in an instant of unity.
The beauty in nature, a meeting with a loved one or the intimacy with what we consider to be sacred, can all create a unity and elevation of the consciousness. In these instants the dispersed mind concentrates in only one direction and the feeling of the sublime takes us beyond analysis, to show us the essence of the eternal in the world. These moments fill us with joy, independent of possessions, achievements or the satisfaction of our desires; they are lightening strikes that can provoke realizations, bring inspiration to life and change our existence.
Our fulfillment is intrinsically related with the contact of the sacred and eternal essence in life. For this reason, in the middle of the dispersion and velocity of our minds, it is indispensible to find methods to become conscious of the movement of our thoughts. The first step consists in the observation of the mind.
But we ask ourselves “how can I observe my thoughts?”. There are simple techniques such as the following: we should sit with our back straight, close our eyes, become conscious of the rhythm of our breath and when we are feeling a little more calm, we ask ourselves “what will my next thought be”? And in this moment we should wait attentively for the answer. And so we will become witnesses of the magic of the observation of our thoughts. For we will see that it produces a vacuum in the habitual torrent of the mind and a moment of being conscious of the Self appears.
In the beginning many thoughts will appear and we should let them flow. However, with this practice this current will become a silence. As we conquer the unity of our mind and enter into the magic of observation, it is possible for us to pass from simply riding the wild horses of the mind to become their rider and master.
This meditative practice will bring calm and clarity to the mind, emotions and body and it permits us to be more conscious of these instants that fill existence with meaning. This observation, or the consciousness of the witness, is an invitation to live more in the present becoming more attentive to the beauty and the sacredness that exists in our lives.