I had to take a picture of this message on the low-ceilinged baggage claim area at the airport on the Thai island of Ko Samui.
MIND YOUR HEAD: a good piece of advice for tall people reaching for their luggage, and even better, a good reminder to those of us who spend way too much time thinking.
If I could just stop thinking so much, I’d be a lot happier. It’s my mind, after all, that keeps me awake at night and feeds my insomnia. Out on Koh Pha Ngan Island last week, my thoughts drifted out and away, and I slept in a deep and dreamless sleep.
Dragon Queen recently showed me some excerpts from Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now” that reminded me of how excessive thought causes us to suffer. Here are some thoughts on how the act of surrender can be one of our greatest gifts:
"True surrender… does not mean to passively put up with whatever situation you find yourself in and to do nothing about it. Nor does it mean to cease making plans or initiating positive action. Surrender is the simple but profound wisdom of yielding to rather than opposing the flow of life. The only place where you can experience the flow of life is in the Now, so to surrender is to accept the present moment unconditionally and without reservation."
I have a lot to learn about surrender, about living in the NOW, about not dwelling on the past or the future, but focusing on the present moment. So, these days, I’m “minding my head” and watching that I don’t spend too much time dwelling on the past or planning for the future.
NOW is a nice place to be.
Look below the fold for more on this subject:
from the Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle:
Enlightenment: Rising above Thought
Isn't thinking essential in order to survive in this world?
Your mind is an instrument, a tool. It is there to be used for a specific task, and when the task is completed, you lay it down. As it is, I would say about 80 to 90 percent of most people's thinking is not only repetitive and useless, but because of its dysfunctional and often negative nature, much of it is also harmful. Observe your mind and you will find this to be true. It causes a serious leakage of vital energy.
This kind of compulsive thinking is actually an addiction. What characterizes an addiction? Quite simply this: you no longer feel that you have the choice to stop. It seems stronger than you. It also gives you a false sense of pleasure, pleasure that invariably turns into pain.
Why should we be addicted to thinking?
Because you are identified with it, which means that you derive your sense of self from the content and activity of your mind. Because you believe that you would cease to be if you stopped thinking. As you grow up, you form a mental image of who you are, based on your personal and cultural conditioning. We may call this phantom self the ego. It consists of mind activity and can only be kept going through constant thinking. The term ego means different things to different people, but when I use it here it means a false self, created by unconscious identification with the mind.
To the ego, the present moment hardly exists. Only past and future are considered important. This total reversal of the truth accounts for the fact that in the ego mode the mind is so dysfunctional. It is always concerned with keeping the past alive, because without it - who are you? It constantly projects itself into the future to ensure its continued survival and to seek some kind of release or fulfillment there. It says: "One day, when this, that, or the other happens, I am going to be okay, happy, at peace." Even when the ego seems to be concerned with the present, it is not the present that it sees: It misperceives it completely because it looks at it through the eyes of the past. Or it reduces the present to a means to an end, an end that always lies in the mind-projected future. Observe your mind and you'll see that this is how it works.
The present moment holds the key to liberation. But you cannot find the present moment as long as you are your mind.
Wow, Mind your head. I wish I didn't mind my head so much. It is really getting to me lately. I used to want to die until I read a quote that said, "It isn't the innocent body that needs to be killed, it is the mind." That forever changed the way I saw things. Although, I am not sure that approaching the mind with a killer attitude is the best way to go about it because then it uses all kinds of tactics to keep itself safe and then we end up more crazy.
Posted by: Datta | Thursday, 28 April 2005 at 11:02 AM