Your mind is largely what you you make it. Your thoughts are principally those things that you permit your mind to focus on and ruminate over, sometimes cycling or "kindling" them over and over to the extent of unhealthy distortion (psychologists like to call this extreme "if/then" enlargement of a possibility "catastrophizing"), obsession and the "crowding out" of your ability to cast your focus or place your thoughts elsewhere.
More than 70% of the U.S. population (and this is likely an underestimate, gathered more anecdotally than methodically and subject to review) is taking prescription psychotropic drugs -- and this does not include those persons who self-medicate or share prescription medication with others. This statistic does not take into effect illegal drugs and non-prescription controlled substances. Nor does it take into account nicotine, alcohol, coffee or tea, all of which are psychoactive to some extent, and are addictive (either physiologically or psychologically, to some extent. Nor does it take into account excessive doses of over-the-counter substances used for escape, pain management or "recreation".
There are many medicators and far fewer meditators, although the two approaches to attaining peace of mind, or at least a reasonably, sustainably comfortable state of mind, have a great deal in common. Neurologists, psychiatrists, biochemists, genetic engineers, pharmacologists and a whole host of other professionals have found that your environment, both self-created and external changes your frame of mind; and when you change your frame of mind either habitually or for a great length of time, your neurochemistry changes -- that's correct -- the mind and body produce a variety of chemicals which are quite psychoactive when you engage in meditation and other activities.
For some the magic is mantra. For me, the magic is music (as in RadioDAZZ), or writing (as in blogging) or in focused business problem-solving. Each brings me to a state of happiness far greater than my default or resting state.
But getting back on point, meditation is the means through which you tap into your mind's and body's inherent ability to create appropriate (or even inappropriate) medications.
Maybe a mixture of both is best. The following newsletter excerpt came to me a while ago, and it contains a link to some meditation exercises. For the sake of Braintenance, why not give it a try? Even reading the brief excerpt is as soothing as it is introspectively educational. Just try to cancel out the noise of the obvious sales pitch -- it's not a sin to sell, but it's not where I'd like you to cast your mind's vision.
At very least it is a diversion or distraction from your current thoughts and mode of thinking. But at best, you might just find the meditation experience to be very therapeutic and productive. At the very end of this article there are links to several wonderful YouTube meditation tapes for some added fun. - DEC
How you feel in your life has a lot to do with what's going
on in your head. If you constantly hear thoughts telling
you that "Life is a struggle," "The economy is bad," and
"You aren't enough," these have a powerful impact on how
These thoughts are like a proverbial "dark cloud hanging
One of the defining moments of awakening is
when you discover that you "are not" the thoughts you are
"having." You witness the incessant chatter that drives you,
distracts you, and seems like your constant companion and
you realize that you don't have to be defined by that.
At that moment, you realize that those words in your head
really have little to do with you. They also don't reflect
what is actually happening in the world. You come to recognize
that a majority of those words are just recorded messages
from the past, the limiting thoughts of others, and random
sounds from your environment.
Nevertheless, they are broadcasting through your head.
At that moment, you may get a strong urge to turn off that
chatter, or at least turn down the volume, so it is less
distracting. The truth is--you can learn to do just that.
And it doesn't have to take years of practice, just a little
guiding of your attention. Here are a few simple ways to turn
down the mental volume and quiet your mind. I encourage
you to try them out as you read them.
Instead of just reading the words, pause at each one, and
actually give it a try. You may be surprised at how effective
they are. The great thing is, they take just a few moments.
3 Ways to Quiet Your Mind
1. See if you can listen to the chatter as an outside observer.
See if you can separate "who you are" from those words in
your head. Listen to them with an attitude of amused curiosity.
Smiling while you do this can help.
Allow the words to come and go through your mind without
hanging onto any of them. Just watch them come and go.
You could say, "Hey, they're just thoughts; they don't define
me or what I can do." As you give your thoughts less
importance, they lose their grip on your attention.
Take a minute to observe your mental chatter with a smile.
Here's a guided audio that can help you:
2. Focus on something else. If you become completely
immersed in paying attention to something besides your
thoughts, you'll notice that your mind quiets down.
For example, place your hands on your abdomen and
become aware of your breathing. See if it's possible to
notice the moment when your inhale begins; follow your
in-breath all the way through to a natural pause; notice
the moment your exhale begins; follow that all the way
through to a natural pause--and repeat.
Become absolutely interested in following your breathing
as if nothing else matters at this moment. Within a few
breathing cycles, your mind quiets. Try it for yourself.
3. Ask yourself the question: "Who is thinking?" Then
sit and be content that you really have no answer for that.
Don't try to make up an answer. Just notice how your mind
becomes quiet in the face of that question. Try it for
yourself and see what happens.
Those are three great ways to get a taste of a quieter mind--
a mind that isn't consumed by incessant thinking, and,
therefore, comes to rest in a natural peace.
As you get a taste of that, you may discover that you want
to experience more of it--you want to go deeper and have the
experience stay with you longer.
If so, I strongly recommend you get my Core Energy
Meditation Program. It's the only truly holistic meditation
practice that soothes and integrates all dimensions of your
being - mind, heart, body and spirit.
Soon a quiet mind can become your dominant background
state and your life can feel so much more peaceful, positive,
and clear. Check it out here --
Welcome back. And as I had promised, I have a few (actually only two for right now) meditation videos (with pleasant musical soundtracks) that I've selected for you.
THETA MEDITATION - [Warning: Do Not Play This Prior To Performing Any Task That Requires Wakefulness... no driving, operating heavy equipment, making important decisions, and the like]
When next we meet, it will once again be time for some math challenges. It's great to work at cognitive enhancement and conscious evolution of the mind, but it's the ultimate blessing to be happy.
Thank you for reading me, re-tweeting me and completing me.
Douglas E. Castle