Strategically, you want to take control of your life by wresting it from your monkey-mind. Tactically, the goal is to be fully present in the present moment, never lost in thought.
Performing the plan described takes less time and energy than not following the plan. Actuation only takes will: the will to be more alive.
Inner noise is the obstacle to awareness, silence the portal. Be quiet.
Meditation is a traditional, effortless technique to habituate transcendence. Alas, for those with raging monkey-minds, meditation can be tortuous. Most in the Collective are uncomfortable sitting quietly alone. Let us start with the basic method.
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Pay attention. The past is gone. The future does not exist. Nothing to be done about either past or future. Take care of what is happening. Witness now. Blunders come from inattention.
Paying attention means not thinking. Whenever you are being or whatever you are doing, don’t think.
The idea of refusing thought requires explanation, because thoughts are going to keep coming. Even in realization, nattermind is vanquished, not eliminated.
In willing a desire, you only ponder when you are uncertain: when doubt rears its ugly little head. Willmind provokes conscious thought when a clash arises between a desire and known facts which present an obstacle to attaining that desire. That thought is a warning sign.
Your first intention in facing such a thought ought to be to feel how strong the desire is. That alone practically decides. Obstacles almost always squash modest desires. The only time a mild desire wins out is when the obstacles are weakened by further consideration. This mulling should be done subconsciously.
You can solve problems or plan without ever thinking. Just desire an answer and it arrives after coremind has figured it out. Intention suffices. Whatever you may concoct through thought is no match for willed intuition.
Beliefs are blinders. Disbelief is essential to getting reliable results. Assumption is a formula for mistake. “Truth only reveals itself when one gives up all preconceived ideas,” advised Japanese Zen Buddhist monk Gido Shoseki.
Question your wants. How badly and why do you want something? What would achievement bring? At what cost, including opportunity cost? An opportunity cost is what is foregone by pursuing a desire. What are the alternatives to a desire?
Practice skepticism. Skepticism is not a provocation to thought. Being skeptical is an attitude that provokes dismissing thought, or, at least, questions what disturbs willful witnessing.
If confusion or a question arises in thought, will an answer, then dismiss contemplation.
If an answer comes to mind, be skeptical how good that answer is, especially if it is the first response to a complex problem or situation. Skepticism is an essential tool to dispelling error before it becomes fact.
A sense of satisfaction arises with resolution. Gratification may take the form of conscious congratulation. Savor for a moment, then let the self-gratitude go.
Intuition betters thought. Thought is a trickle compared to the marine wave of subconscious mentation. Intuition is all the thought you could possibly have and more. The clarity of insight has a clean feel.
Do not ponder a feeling consciously. Notice its context and dismiss it. If the feeling has meaning, its import will arise again.
Nattermind bloats negative feelings into emotions. If a negative emotion arises, kick it away. Negativity is a flashing neon sign that you are nursing a bias: you are heading the wrong way.
Any interruptive thought is from nattermind. All such disruptions are a robbery of awareness by inner idling. Immediately dismiss these intrusions.
Living in the past is a common mental illness. Properly, memory is for problem-solving or to entertain others with a story. Sentimentality is a trademark of iğnorance. Don’t indulge.
Daydreaming feeds monkey-mind. Don’t do it, ever.
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You live in 2 modes: being and doing.
Being is the mode of savoring your environ. Do not disturb your entertainment with thought. Just enjoy in the pure awareness of witnessing.
Doing is you in productive mode. Alas, our faculty for attention is quite limited. Concentration is always tenuous. Comfortably alternate between focusing on the task at hand and taking a momentary mental break of being.
The 1982 novel Deadeye Dick by Kurt Vonnegut mentioned the following piece of graffiti:
“To be is to do.” ~ Socrates
“To do is to be.” ~ Jean-Paul Sartre
“Do be do be do.” ~ Frank Sinatra
When working, you want to do be do be do. To stay productive, don’t over be while doing, but you cannot do without breaks of being.
While being, stretch your awareness to witness yourself within your habitat. Calmly sensitize your senses to heighten your experience of being.
If a thought arises, dismiss it, then focus on your breathing momentarily to center yourself. Habituate yourself to transcendental being.
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Whereas the apex of doing is total absorption, the epitome of being is meditation. Enlightenment is living in meditation.
Meditation is an easy way to transcend. The technique described here is effortless and effective. It is the classic practice, known since antiquity.
To ease the mind toward transcendence, a mantra is traditionally used during meditation. A mantra is a pacifier for monkey-mind: a vehicle for inner calm via mentally whispered repetition.
A suggested mantra is soo-maa (sōmā). There is no meaning to this mantra. It is simply a soothing, breath-like drone.
You may meditate without a mantra, using your breath as a seat of attention. Or simply intend to transcend. This latter technique works for those with quiet minds.
Here is how to meditate.
Sit in a comfortable chair or prop yourself up in bed with cushions. The room should be quiet, preferably dimly lit.
Spend a few moments calming yourself. Relax.
Focus on your breath. If possible, breathe through your nose, not your mouth.
Begin meditating. Intend inner silence. Will to transcend.
When thoughts arise, dismiss them. Thought is the enemy. Vanquish thought.
Calmly repeat your mantra as if breathing it. Gently make your mantra the mental focus, intending inner quiet. Do not concentrate on the mantra. The aim is to clear the mind and relax, not hold the mind captive.
A mantra mesmerizes monkey-mind. A mantra is a signal for silence: a lilting lullaby for an overactive monkey-mind.
Meditate 20 minutes, time permitting. Even a short session is helpful. A meditation of mere moments, closing the eyes and breathing deeply, may prove soothing.
Transcending or falling asleep for a longer period than planned is natural. Your mind-body takes whatever rest it needs when it can.
Some meditation sessions may feel busy. Others serene. Regardless of their seeming quality, meditation is always beneficial.
If your monkey-mind is prattling and meditation is frustrating, relax for a few minutes and get on with your day.
At the end of a meditation session, lay down or slump in your chair. Spend 3 to 5 minutes relaxing with your eyes closed. Let yourself ease back to the waking state. You do not want to abruptly end meditation. That may give you a dull headache.
Do not meditate on a full stomach. Being a form of rest, meditation slows metabolism, and so can degrade digestion.
Do not exercise after meditating. Let the calm settle in.
Recommended daily practice: meditate in the morning after awakening and again in the late afternoon. You may meditate whenever circumstance permits. If you have trouble falling asleep, a short meditation may help.
The goal is not good meditations. The aim is abiding quietude: freeing yourself from being monkey-mind’s toy. Meditation is practice for quietude: a tune-up for habituating transcendence.
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Whether being or doing, practice silence.
Do not feed your monkey-mind. Thrill-seeking is a monkey-mind feast.
To progress toward enlightenment, you need to practice quietude. For instance, do not listen to music while walking. Take in the full experience of attentiveness to every sensation while ambling.
Practicing silence also means talking less. Trying to be the center of attention serves a banquet to monkey-mind.
Walking is not the only physical meditation.
Yoga is a bodily meditation which originated in ancient India. Yoga aims at transcendence through physical postures.
Tai chi is the Chinese variant of yoga. Whereas yoga employs poses, tai chi uses movements.
A mantra in meditation is incidental. So too particular yoga poses or tai chi movements. The aim is the same: transcendence.
Doing anything is meditative if your awareness is fully into it. “Get into it like a mediation,” advised Irish singer Van Morrison.
Focus on anything or everything, being or doing. If your absorption is total, you have transcended.
Being or doing in quietude is living in transcendence: pure witnessing. Sustaining this state is enlightenment. Shimmers of bliss will confirm you are succeeding.
If you take substances that dim or otherwise alter your awareness, you are off plan. Alcohol, marijuana, and other dimmers are only consumed by dullards.
You are either serious about your quality of life or you are not. Pick one.
What gratifies you is an important aspect of attaining enlightenment. Desire sets intent.
Living is the ongoing process of swimming in a never-ending stream of self-generated desires. A primary purpose of willmind is attention to want: doing to be satisfied in being. Deciding which desires to attend to is another core function of willmind.
Anything that has meaning to you is an abstraction: a symbolic representation. To think of anything as being ‘part of you’ is a fiction of iğnorance. All perceptions are figments in the mind. Love is adoration of a concept.
All is within your mind, free for you to construe. Construe carefully. Keep your construals to yourself unless they are entertaining or helpful to others.
Construing stupidity is worthwhile only for its humor value. Errors of awareness are mental pratfalls.
Dim people are living jokes. Have pity on them. Condescend with kindness. They cannot help themselves. You cannot clue the clueless.
However you feel about something or someone is only your construal, not their responsibility. You cannot blame someone for your expectation or emotion.
You are entitled to nothing but the opportunity to learn from your mistakes of misconstrual and inattention. Skepticism is your friend.
The adventure of living is constant learning. There is success in going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.
Be careful what you wish for. Reward yourself with how you spend your awareness.
Your monkey-mind will resist your rejection of it in every possible way. That monkey is a gorilla when it comes to wanting to keep possession of your soul.
You are only mentally well when quietude is your norm. You enlighten yourself by sheer will. Either you win or your monkey-mind does.
Though your progress will be felt as incremental, going from iğnorance to enlightenment is not a transition of degrees. Emerging into mental health is a metamorphosis. You are indelibly changed for the better.
Let us turn now to reality. From this you can understand why iğnorance is so pervasive and its escape so difficult.