An aunt called yesterday and was asking how I was. The last she spoke to me, I told her that I was in a transition and was feeling depressed. She asked me curiously what I was depressed about. While I tried my level best to explain to her of what I was going through during that period of time, I was also aware of my intentions and whatever that was arising in me at that point of conversing and interaction.
It was easier to explain that I was watching what was arising in me at every point in time, than the ultimate truth, which is that I was watching what was arising in the mind, which is not me, at every point in time – in short, I was being mindful. It takes a while for people to realize that they are not their minds, and their minds are not them. It always takes a while for people to understand (myself included) that most of the time, they are being misled by the mind, making them think that it is them doing all the talking, the thinking, the doing and etc, which in fact is not the truth.
So my aunt was saying to me, “that is why we need to control the mind, right?” If she was referring to mastering the mind, then I would have totally agreed with her. But she was coming from the space where “control” to mean a form of “suppressing” the mind, which I found was another form of denial or sweeping “it” under the carpet. The “control” in the latter meaning can be detrimental to one’s wellbeing.
People don’t understand that we can’t really “control” the mind until we finally understand how it works and thus lead it to the right direction. It is also very seldom that the general mass would understand how it actually works. While there are helpful books to support the teachings of how ‘Law of Attraction’ actually works, Paul Ferrini says that it is important to journey inwards with self-awareness. With the self-awareness, the observation of the mind can come in a detached manner which aids the observer from different levels (depending where one is) to finally understand how the mind works. Only by understanding how it works can there be a better or clearer possibility of examining the ideas in the mind which had been projected outwards. It is in the observation and understanding of the mind that could ever lead one to unlearn the limiting beliefs or ideas that one has in the mind thus to create new ones for new experiences to be possible.
Someone asked me once, why do we need to know how the mind works? It’s simple. If we had understood the mechanics of something, wouldn’t we be in better position to be the driver of our own experiences? If we were truly honest and authentic with ourselves, we would soon realize that we were not really living life. We were being conditioned to live life a certain way, with certain rules, beliefs or conditions, as if our patterns had already been set into a certain motion that events in our lives repeatedly happen again and again in a vicious cycle without strings of any possibility to break it.
The gist of mindfulness is in observation. Although we always knew there was this thing called the mind, but we never really understood what it is, or how it works. I could never reiterate enough the importance of knowing how the mind works, and it is truly as simple as ABC. In spite of that, because of its simplicity, it is also one of the hardest things to practice – that is to remember.
And yet, that remembering to be mindful is such indeed a rewarding journey for anyone who is on the path towards Truth. There is nothing truly more gratifying than an inward journey Home. Although it may suddenly sound scary to some, but it is beyond doubt a worthwhile journey. In a book I once read, it said that in order for there to be world peace, there must be inner peace within each of us. And, this is where this practice can lead you to – inner peace and inner freedom; only requirements are courage, willingness and honesty.