January 31, 2015 2:58 PM
At various times over the day, I checked in on my happiness level and found that yes, only when I’m taking the mental noise too seriously is when I’m not feeling happy (content is probably the more appropriate word).
First thing this morning I spilled coffee on my foot as I juggled too much stuff while trying to unlock my parents’ front door. Then I unwrapped my breakfast sandwich and saw McD’s had screwed up my order. Neither of these situations caused me any aggravation, because as soon as I saw the mind spooling up to be pissed, I focused on Physical Reality.
I focused on the present moment (reality) rather than the noise in my mind.
This didn’t last long though, as I rapidly contracted when I found myself defending my actions to my mother who doesn’t agree with many of my lifestyle decisions. Not anger, just frustration while trying to explain myself. But as soon as I saw this, saw how the noise in my mind was causing the feeling of frustration, I was able to let it go, shift my attention to the physical world (the table, the pressure of the chair, …) and contentment—the stillness that all the mental noise arises within—resumed.
The day continued in this manner, the pattern consistent: Feeling discontent when I focused on the mind’s noise, and feeling contentment when I focused on physical reality.
I’m thinking—like an empty room that is still and quiet—the mind’s default nature is contentment… is stillness.
While I don’t think it is possible to silence the mind, it is possible to change our focus: Focus on the swirling noise inside the empty room and feel disharmony… or focus on physical reality and feel the emptiness of the room/mind (contentment).
That’s do-able: Sucky mental noise or beautiful Physical Reality. Hell, with a little self-monitoring, it’s even practical.
Note: Since the empty room (you-as-the-Witness) can’t see yourself, it is impossible to see the empty room, so all you can do is focus on physical reality to help empty out the room of its swirling, illusionary contents. Though we can never experience the empty room, we can at least experience the emptiness of the room (peace, bliss, contentment) that lies behind all the noise.
Regardless of the above spiritechy paragraph, there seems to be only two options open to us:
Focus on mental noise and (possibly) suffer… or focus on physical reality and be at peace.
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