The Restless Mind - The Constantly Thinking Mind
By Remez Sasson
The natural tendency of the mind is to be restless. Thinking seems to be a continuous and ongoing activity. The restless mind lets thoughts come and go incessantly from morning till night. They give us no rest for a moment. Most of these thoughts are not exactly invited; they just come, occupy our attention for a while, and then disappear.
Our true essence can be likened to the sky, and our thoughts are the clouds. The clouds drift through the sky, hide it for a while and then disappear. They are not permanent. So are thoughts. Because of their incessant movement they hide our essence, our core, and then move away to make room for other thoughts.
Thoughts resemble the waves of the ocean, always in a state of motion, never standing still. These thoughts arise in our mind due to many reasons. There is a tendency on the part of the mind to analyze whatever it contacts. It likes to compare, to reason, and to ask questions. It constantly indulges in these activities.
Everyone's mind has a kind of a filter, which allows it to accept, let in certain thoughts, and reject others. This is the reason why some people occupy their minds with thoughts about a certain subject, while others don't even think about the same subject.
Why some people are attracted to football and others don't? Why some love and admire a certain singer and others don't? Why some people think incessantly about a certain subject, and others never think about it? It is all due to this inner filter.
This is an automatic unconscious filter. We never stop and say to certain thoughts 'come' and to others we say 'go away'. It is an automatic activity. This filter was built during the years. It was and is built constantly by the suggestions and words of people we meet, and as a consequence of our daily experiences.
Every event, happening or word has an affect on the mind, which produces thoughts accordingly. The mind is like a thought factory, working in shifts day and night, producing thoughts.
The mind also gets thoughts directly from the surrounding world. The space around us is full of thoughts, which we constantly pick, let pass through our minds, and then pick up new ones. It is like catching fish in the ocean, throwing them back into the water and then catching a new ones.
This activity of the restless mind occupies our attention all the time. Now our attention is on this thought and then on another one. We pay a lot of energy and attention to these passing thoughts. Most of them are not important. They just waste our time and energy.
This is enslavement. It is as if some outside power is always putting a thought in front of us to pay attention to. It is like a relentless boss constantly giving us a job to do. There is no real freedom. We enjoy freedom only when we are able to still the mind and choose our thoughts. There is freedom, when we are able to decide which thought to think and which one to reject. We live in freedom, when we are able to stop the incessant flow of thoughts.
Stopping the flow of thoughts may look infeasible, but constant training and exercising with concentration exercises and meditation, eventually lead to this condition. The mind is like an untamed animal. It can be taught self-discipline and obedience to a higher power. Concentration and meditation show us in a clear and practical manner that we, the inner true essence, are this controlling power. We are the bosses of our minds.http://www.successconsciousness.com/index_00007d.htm
How to Calm Down the Mental Noise
By Remez Sasson
After reading the article on the mental noise, it is time to start doing something about it. As you now know, the mental noise is the inner dialogue and constant chatter that goes on in the mind almost all the time. Sometimes we are not aware of it, and at other times it is most disturbing and distracting the attention.
When do you become more aware of the mental noise and find it disturbing?
When you need to focus your mind on a certain activity, such as studying, reading, solving problems or anything else. At this time you become more aware of the buzz and constant flow of irrelevant, and often useless or distracting thoughts. This is the mental noise.
How can you calm down this background noise and enjoy inner peace?
How can you learn to focus the attention on what we are doing, and so do it better?
How can you be aware of solutions and opportunities?
How can you live and focus on the present moment?
We need some tools to reduce the acuity and duration of the mnetal noise, or if possible, switch it off. We need to be able to press the button that causes the mental noise to subside.
How do we do that?
By strengthening our power concentration. This ability helps us focus on one subject and ignore other, irrelevant thoughts.
Through meditation, going within, closing the mind to distracting and disturbing thoughts, and enjoying inner peace and happiness.
The above two tools, concentration and meditation, together with other techniques, help in gaining inner peace and calming down the mental noise.
You don't have to be a yogi to meditate. You don't have to devote hours to these practices, unless you want to. Even a few minutes a day of practicing these techniques will bring you results.
Check out the Yoga link for more calming tools.