OK, I can’t be the only one here that felt this way! So, Week 1 of the MKE we began to learn about the “world without,” and the “world within.” My first thought was that the world without meant a world of scarcity and lacking, but I learned that it actually referred to the world outside of our mind and thought. It is a reflection of our world within, that world of thought, governed by the mind.
I learned that since the world without is a reflection of the world within, I needed to learn to control my mind, (my world within), and in so doing, I would gain control over my circumstances and conditions, my “world without.” The first step was learning to control my body, developing the focus and ability to sit quietly and without any movement. While not easy, I was able to achieve some success with this task.
Then came the hard part. This week, I learned that to control my mind, my world within, I needed to be able to control the thoughts that entered my mind. The exercise here, seemed straight forward. Sit in complete stillness, as before, but this time inhibit ALL THOUGHT. So, think nothing.
Are you kidding??? As soon as I began, my first thought was “Gee, if I am thinking to myself that I am thinking about nothing, does this count as a thought?” I mean it is a thought about nothing, but still a thought. Next I wondered, how can I tell if I am actually inhibiting thought, since I have to look inward to see that I am not thinking about anything, and that is thinking about something.
So, for fifteen minutes I sat there thinking to myself that it is impossible for me to think about nothing. I chased one logical squirrel after another. Each “squirrel” a thought that was not supposed to be running around the forest of my mind. I have tried this exercise four times now. Three times, I had the same exasperating experience. My fourth try I fell asleep, so I am counting that as a success. At least I was not aware of my thoughts.
I cannot possibly be the only one running into difficulty with this task. Anyone out there figured out how to inhibit their thoughts? If you have, please share the secret. In the meantime, I will continue to follow the directions, with full faith that eventually I will follow the right squirrel, and he will lead me to my world within.
Wonderful, Dirk! Allow the process to happen peacefully. All of a sudden you realize that it’s happening.
Thank you Pammy. Since I know who you are, and your role here, I will confess to you that this ( thinking of nothing ) seems very counter-intuitive to me. Sort of an “elephant in the room” problem. I find myself thinking about clearing my mind, and in so doing, I am “thinking” about something. Will keep at it, and I trust that I will find the way.
I noticed the same thing, Anthony. Focus like that really does require a lot of energy. I need to work on that.
Thank you for the encouragement, JJ. Funny thing is i don’t go a few moments. I go a few seconds. Lots of squirrels, but I will trap them.
Thank you, Elena. I have to ask, have you done this before? I would love to hear your experience with the process.
You bet, Heather. Glad you enjoyed my post, and I appreciate your sharing similar struggles.
Your observation is quite common, Dirk. It all comes together through practice. Thinking of “nothing” happens in multiple small increments. Keep up the good habits and see how the “Sit” progresses as do you.
You’re not the only one Dirk.. That’s also with me, but to focus costs also a lot of energy, the (subconscious) mind never sleeps..
remember this from the week’s lesson?
“31.You will not be able to do this for more than a few moments at a time, but the exercise is valuable because it will be a very practical demonstration of the great number of thoughts which are constantly trying to gain access to your mental world.”
A moment is brief and fleeting.
You have succeeded in noticing how many thoughts are constantly happening in your head- all those squirrels! 🙂 – so this week is about stopping them at will so you can focus on what you choose.
Do your best – I’m cheering you on, celebrating your progress and thanks for the quiet smile about all those squirrels !
I can tell you that you’re on the right path Dirk. Keep doing the work and it is going to amaze you. Just keep plugging and do it now, do it even if you think this is not working, it is.
Dirk, I have only learned to control what it is that I am thinking. Having a blank mind has not been possible for me. You are not the only one. I am waiting on what your squirrel will do next.
You have me in complete stitches. So funny. You could be a comedian. Okay all monkey business aside, I feel the same way. Thank you for sharing.