The present moment within the mind.
I have mentioned earlier in one of my recent article that we have a highly vague definition of the phenomenon we call as the ‘time’. We perceive the long gone moments as the events of the past and the upcoming events as a possible future. However, none among the two scenarios even comes closer to the expressive reality of the present moment. Thus it is safe to say that both of these terms related to time are a direct result of the identification of our attachment to certain scenarios, eventually providing us with a definition of time.
Well, to put it straight in fewer words, we can also say that the definition of past is totally based upon our own or other people’s experiences; while on the other side, the future is totally based upon our imagination.
However, a major question strikes in front of us whenever we talk about the idea of time which asks us, what actually occurs within our own mind while we live within this present moment? So, let’s try to figure out the answer to this question.
I am quite sure that if a person tries to look within his own mind, he would immediately feel puzzled by its vivid nature. It is also a possibility that he won’t be able to develop any kind of clear picture in regards with whatever is going on within his own mind.
However, only if a person is able to find a detailed picture of whatever is going on within his own mind; he would surely find out that there are three aspects of the mind which are always in a continuous function. Let me remind you though, that a great amount of dedication is needed to be able to witness all the three aspects within the mind.
Three concepts within our mind in the context of this ‘present moment’.
Before we start let me tell you first that here is a good news for a novice, who is aspiring to look within his own mind. The good news is that unlike any of the other fields; the easiest observation sits at the very beginning of this inward journey. In simple terms, it is much easier to identify with the first aspect within the mind, which I am going to mention over here.
No need to feel anxious though about the realisation of the other two aspecs, as these two will also become visible once we reach through the depths of meditation, while practicing it regularly. It is important to mention over here that there are no other methodologies, which can essentially outmatch the benefits of the meditation. Infact the biggest benefit of the meditation is when we start to recognize about the patterns of our thoughts, which are always cyclical in nature. That’s not all though. The most important experience of the meditation only comes after we find ourselves able to observe the present moment with a vision similar to hawkeye view.
Now without any delay, let me start with the three aspects present within the mind, in this present moment.
We all know that our mind talks too much. That becomes the reason by default, that why people find this aspect, as the easiest to identify among the all of the three aspects. It is highly imposing in nature and that is the only reason, I am calling this aspect of the mind as ‘speaker’.
One doesn’t even needs to close his eyes to witness the presence of the chaos within his own mind. However, the good news is that, that most of the population is acclimatized to such a non-stop jabbering within the mind.
Every single perspective, emotion or theory stays within this sphere of the mind. Every single idea about the outer existence or the inner world is anchored within this aspect of the mind, which I prefer to call as the speaker.
However, at various times, the rapid movement of our thoughts makes it too difficult to catch even a glimpse of these thoughts, eventually producing unwanted emotions or anxiousness.
These unwanted emotions can stay there within the mind for a real long duration, while rooting to the greater depths of our sub-conscious mind. That is where we start to realize that the roots of our thoughts, goes much deeper within our own consciousness.
Over a superficial note, one might feel that he is not afflicted by certain kinds of emotions but most of our emotions always stay as a hidden property or a seed, within the sub-conscious state of mind. We can take a look at our dreams which are a perfect example of this fact.
We know that our every single dream or our every nightmare is inter-linked to some sort of idea, which usually stays hidden in the depths of our psyche. This statement, also put forth a fact that even our sub-conscious state of mind is also influenced by our own thoughts and desires. However, we can only identify with our thought patterns, when we are awake. That might be the reason that we would never consider any of our dreams, as something serious.
These dreams become visible to us when we are sleeping and stays hidden while we think that we are awake. All of these times, our mind barely takes any rest and is mostly occupied with unwanted thoughts. Now one might come up with a question here that what is the definition of an unwanted thought? Well, to put it straight over here, we can also say that every single emotion belonging to the negative spectrum of human emotions, can be considered as ‘unwanted emotions’.
By now, you must have realized this fact that we want to feel happy at all the times. Yet, we are unable to live a life where happiness stays constant, thorughout the whole life. What I want to say over here is that, that if our mind has a power over his own thoughts, then the mind never would have allowed the negative thoughts to come up, within. That is where it becomes evident to us that our thought process is not in control of our own mind.
However, for this very same reason, identifying the speaker aspect within the mind, also is the easiest. All one needs to do to realize is to calm down and look within. It might feel a bit awful in the beginning, but believe me over this fact that it is the first step to detoxify our own mind from those ideas, which are counter-productive for our own life.
Unfortunately the listener aspect of the mind is not equally imposing as the first aspect. Hence the other two aspects always remain hidden from the conscious eyes of the mind. But a little meditation and inference can easily help the mind to identify these subtle yet immensely powerful aspects within the mind.
Unlike the speaker, the listener aspect within our mind is inactive and subtle in nature. It is not evident to everyone, because of its passive nature. However, we can witness the presence of this ‘listener’ aspect while we breath. When you inhale and when you exhale, there comes a brief pause when the air stops moving completely. The lungs stops taking the oxygen, the heart stops pumping the blood. Every single one of these passive activities, is a perfect example of the listener aspect.
Similarly, there also is a subtle and passive aspect within our minds which is always perceiving, which I prefer to call as the listener.
Although the mind has access to all the three aspects at all the times; the continuous state of unrest from within, prevents the mind from expansion and find out the truth about the presence of the other two aspects.
Let me give you an example of this situation. I hope you all remember a joyride from our childhood, which we use to call as the ‘see-saw’. In this ride, two individuals sit at the two ends of a board which stays balanced on a fulcrum. Whenever an individual kicks himself up from the floor; the other person seated on the other side of the board goes down.
The thoughts within our mind also function in the same pattern. However, unlike the joyride where the other individual also gets a turn to come up, the listener aspect of the mind never gets a chance to come up at the top.
One might argue that what proof is there that there is a listener aspect in our mind? Well, all you need to do is to close your eyes, and you will soon be fascinated that there surely is a listener within the mind. It is not something dualistic or a divine entity being seatedside our minds. Instead, it is a very refined state of mind which only develops when we choose to nourish it with the practice of being fully present in the moment. That is how one can listen to the noise present in his own mind.
Now we are only left with the identification of the 3rd aspect within our own minds, so let’s take a look at that.
The Will or the Awareness.
Although the will and the awareness are quite different terms in the dimensions of spirituality, yet over here I am using these two as a synonym because the whole premise of this article is to bring some improvements within our lives.
Now, it is of no surprise that clarity within the thoughts is the most important quality, which can essentially improve an individual’s life. However, one needs to realize about the other two aspects of the mind which I have mentioned above, before getting equipped with a state of mind through which the thoughts become clear to thyself.
“What I want to convey over here is the fact that one needs to be skilled enough to recognize the true nature of our thoughts, which are always generating on their own.”
It is almost impossible to bring any kind of change in our thought process, without knowing about the seed of our thought patterns. Many of us would simply believe that we are in control of our will, at all the times. I personally find it cruel to declare, that this is not the case with most of the people.
To put it straight, our every single thought is always influenced by the high hopes to bring some improvement in our lives. This sense of imaginary hope is always fueled by nothing else but our own desires. However, such a realisation only comes after one has gone through a lot of introspection and meditation. That is when it happens that an individual slowly starts to figure out the presence of the will, which is only present in this present moment.
After going through some deeper introspection [meditation], one realizes that his perspective has gone through a change. The change in perspective usually will shift from stringent to a more liberal and receptive one. That is where a person starts to feel control over his own life when he develops a kind approach towards life.
I would like to clear it over here that such a morally correct approach towards life is not to be mistaken with practicing kindness or following some ethical code of conducts. All of these qualities develop on their own when a person finds out the natural rhythm within his own mind; as this rhythm which I am talking about over here, is usually hidden by our own thought patterns.
After cruising through the waves of the first two aspects, a person slowly starts to realize about the presence of a silence within the mind. In this silence, develops the authority which can be used to mould our lives. This authority or power which I am talking about overe here, is commonly called as the will.
At the end I can only say this much that learn to be wise after realising the presence of all the three aspects; as a mind seated within its own silence is nothing lesser than a God.