From the time that we wake up until the time that we fall asleep, our brains are on hyper-drive.
Occasionally we can focus on the task at hand, but usually we’re checking email while on the
phone, on the phone while driving to a meeting and planning the next meeting while at the first.
Even when sleeping our brains have a hard time letting go, so we dream about the people and
events that occurred during our day. The noisy mind can also interfere with meditation. Very
often people tell me that they can’t quiet their minds enough to meditate for even five minutes.
Let’s look at the noisy mind in a different way. The busier our lives are, the easier it is to become
focused on what is happening in our day-to-day life, rather than why it is happening. The noisy
mind is there to help guide us to a different way of looking at our experiences. Especially if you
are feeling trapped or stagnant, examining the noisy mind can help you see more clearly what
is holding you back.
You can access this information through living your daily life, but the easiest way is through a simple meditation technique. Schedule 15 minutes with yourself. You can set a timer, but make
sure that it’s silent. Turn off all electronics so that you won’t be disturbed and sit comfortably.
1. Become aware of your breath. Don’t try to control it; just be aware.
2. Become aware of each inhalation and each exhalation.
3. Become aware of the temperature of the air as it enters your nose.
4. Become aware of the temperature of the air as it touches the back of your nasal passage.
5. Become aware of how deep your breathe goes.
You will become distracted. Look at your thoughts as though you were reading a book or watching
TV. Become the observer. Don’t participate in your distraction, just observe. In your mind, open a drawer and put the story in the drawer. Close the drawer, and continue to focus on your breathing. Each time you become distracted, become the observer and put the story in the drawer.
When the 15 minutes are up, open your eyes and connect to the present moment. Now, go back to your drawer and take out the first story. How did you feel while you had this experience?
Vulnerable, fearful, self-righteous, angry, threatened, anxious, defensive? How did your body feel? Go to the second story. How did you feel in this experience? How did your body feel? Look at each successive story in the same way.
The stories may all be different, the people in them may all be different, but your emotions will follow a common thread. At this time in your life, this is your Achilles heel. By knowing what situations or people make you feel vulnerable, you can learn what to work on. When examined, a noisy mine can be one of our greatest tools for developing a quiet mind.