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Wednesday, 28 August 2013

How to Quiet the Mind

Daily Om: The mind is a wonderful tool for thinking, but it has a dark side. There is an aspect of the mind that is not useful but pretends to be useful, which is called the egoic mind. It is the aspect of our mind that chats with us as we move about our day. It is the "voice in our head," as Eckhart Tolle calls it. Much of the time, this voice seems like our own thoughts and our own voice, and we often express these thoughts (e.g., "I love doing that!" "I can't wait until tomorrow." "I wonder what will happen"). At other times, this voice is like the voice of a parent or other authority figure or a friend (e.g., "You should try harder." "Don't forget to take your vitamins." "Wouldn't it be fun to try that!"). It may even seem evil or mean (e.g., "You never do anything right. You're worthless. You might as well give up"). We tend to take this voice seriously—we believe it, agree with it, and don't question it. We believe it because we are programmed, or wired, to believe our own thoughts, regardless of whether they are true and helpful or not. Not only do we believe these thoughts, but we believe they are "ours." We identify with them—we feel they reflect who we are. We don't tend to question our own thoughts, although we readily question other people's thoughts, especially if those thoughts are different from ours. But when we stop and examine what this mental voice is saying, we discover a lot of contradictory advice, misinformation, prejudices, judgments, and other negativity. This mental voice is often unkind, belittling, fearful, self-doubting, judgmental, complaining, confused, and unhelpful...read more>>>...

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