One of the most insulting things someone can say to us is, “Are you out of your mind?” implying we somehow mistaken or even crazy. But what if it is actually the coolest thing we could say? What if being out of our mind means we are not disturbed by the madness of our mind and are more in touch with our feelings, heart, and freedom?
Have you ever wondered how extraordinary the mind is? How it can reach from the sublime heights of intellectual ecstasy to the depths of suicidal despair, from piercing clarity to confused schizophrenia? It is the same mind that longs for that sumptuous chocolate cake or that stunning dress or shirt, then afterwards may wonder why we ate something so rich, or lets the clothing go unworn in the closet and feels guilty that we bought it in the first place.
This mind is capable of understanding the most intricate scientific and mathematical theories and can make complicated corporate decisions, yet the same mind can get caught up in trivia and nonsense, becoming upset or even unglued over a seemingly harmless remark. It runs our lives, pushing us in all directions, from attraction to repulsion, creating endless dramas that reflect our insecurities and fears.
The tragedy is that this mental play is considered to be normal—”My mind is so busy it’s driving me crazy!”—as if this were some sort of achievement. In order to reinforce these patterns we surround ourselves with people who think and feel the same way. It is a basic human need to feel loved and that we belong, so as long as there are others out there supporting and agreeing with us we feel fine.
There is no denying the importance and value of the mind—there is great brilliance and beauty here—but there is also great misunderstanding. Thinking, for instance, is not wrong at all, but are our thoughts constructive ones or do they generate further confusion? For no matter how intellectually astute or creative we may be, this aptitude often has little or no effect upon repetitive patterns of fear, guilt, anxiety, neurosis, and self-centeredness.
Humankind has come a long way in terms of physical evolution, we have developed our world beyond any other known life form and have achieved enormous technical advancement, but there is still a long way to go in the evolution of consciousness. Evolution takes us from the gross to the subtle, while involution takes us from the subtle to the sublime. We have yet to touch the depth of true wisdom and liberation that is our natural state by turning within instead of outside ourselves.
When we get out of our minds and into our heart, then we get away from our insecurities, judgments and selfishness, away from everything that keeps us confused and fearful, away from the dramas and stories that reinforce who we think we are.
The great Zen teacher Alan Watts, said, “We all need to go out of our minds at least once a day!” In other words, we all need to come out of our minds and into our hearts. Into the place where unconditional love, compassion, and kindness reign supreme.
Imagine you are free of all the limitations and difficulties you are dealing with, see if you can actually create that vision of being free of who you think you are. Just close your eyes and see yourself as a completely free being with nothing stopping you from being or doing anything you want to. You can be happy! You can be free!
See our award-winning book: BE THE CHANGE, How Meditation Can Transform You and the World, forewords by the Dalai Lama and Robert Thurman, with contributors Jack Kornfield, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Byron Katie, Jane Fonda, Marianne Williamson, and many others.
Deb is the author of the award-winning YOUR BODY SPEAKS YOUR MIND, Decoding the Emotional, Psychological, and Spiritual Messages That Underlie Illness.
Our 3 meditation CD’s: Metta—Loving kindness and Forgiveness; Samadhi–Breath Awareness and Insight; and Yoga Nidra–Inner Conscious Relaxation, are available at: www.EdandDebShapiro.com
Ed and Deb Shapiro are the authors of BE THE CHANGE, How Meditation Can Transform You And The World, with forewords by the Dalai Lama and Robert Thurman and Winner of the 2010 Nautilus Gold Book Award. Deb is the author of the bestselling book, YOUR BODY SPEAKS YOUR MIND, winner of the 2007 Visionary Book Award. They are featured bloggers on Oprah.com/spirit, HuffingtonPost.com/Living, and Care2.com. They have 3 meditation CD’s: Metta — Loving Kindness and Forgiveness; Samadhi – Breath Awareness and Insight; and Yoga Nidra – Inner Conscious Relaxation. See: www.EdandDebShapiro.com
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