Often one of the most insulting things someone can say to us is, "Are you out of your mind?" But what if it is actually the coolest thing we could say? What if being out of your mind meant you are not disturbed by the madness of your mind and are more in touch with your feelings, your heart and your 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 act out our insecurities and fears.
There is no denying the importance and value of the mind--there is great brilliance and beauty here--but there is also great absurdity. 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 the habitual mind and its repetitive patterns: the fear, guilt, anxiety, neurosis, shame 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.
The tragedy is that this mental play is considered to be normal. We become exhausted maintaining our dramas and thinking patterns--"My mind is so busy it is 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.
When we get out of our minds and into our heart, then we get away from our insecurities, worries, judgments and self-centerdness, away from everything that keeps us lost, scattered and fearful, away from the dramas and stories that reinforce who we think we are. As we said in our blog, The Greatest Gift You Can Give Yourself, on Oprah.com/spirit, "In essence, meditation is simply about calming our chattering monkey-like mind and being aware and present in this moment." And 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.
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!
Have you ever felt you were out your mind? How did you deal with it? Do comment below. You can receive notice of our blogs every Tuesday by checking Become a Fan at the top.
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Ed and Deb Shapiro's book, BE THE CHANGE, How Meditation Can Transform You And The World, forewords by the Dalai Lama and Robert Thurman, with contributors Marianne Williamson, astronaut Edgar Mitchell, Jane Fonda, and others.
We will be teaching at the Institute of Noetic Sciences June 18-20, with special guest speaker astronaut Edgar Mitchell
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
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