Mind, No Mind, and Beyond
By Dhara Lemos
If you have any experience with meditation, you have encountered one of the biggest obstacles to meditation—the chattering mind. Here starts our battle with the mind, and for sure we will lose that battle. So what can we do to quiet the mind? The answer is: Do nothing! Just watch, don’t try to stop it. There is no need to take any action against the mind. In the first place, “who” would be taking the action? It would be the mind fighting the mind. That is madness.
The best attitude is to let the mind run freely and to just be the witness. The mind is one of the most beautiful mechanisms in existence. Science has not yet been able to create anything even close to the complexity of the mind. The mind is a masterpiece—tremendously powerful, with such infinite potential. Watch and enjoy it! Watch the mind, not with judgment, but in a friendly way. The mind is not your enemy. If you perceive the mind as an enemy, you can’t watch it, because you’re already prejudiced against it. You’ve already decided that something is wrong with the mind. You fight with and reject the mind. With this attitude you never look deep enough to see the mind for what it is—a masterpiece created by God. It is God’s gift to you.
Nothing is wrong with the mind itself. Nothing is wrong with thinking itself. It is a beautiful process, as other processes are: Like clouds moving in the sky are beautiful, so too are our thoughts moving through our mind. Flowers blossoming are beautiful, and so are the thoughts flowering in your being.
The river running to the ocean is beautiful, and so is the stream of thoughts running somewhere to an unknown destiny. To really watch the mind, you need to look with deep love, respect, and reverence. If you can watch with no attachment, you can see the subtle nuances of the mind: the sudden turns, jumps, and leaps, the games that the mind goes on playing, the dreams that it weaves, the wonderful and powerful imagination, the memory—such mystery! The thousand and one thoughts it creates! Just watch, let it be, no attachments . . . you start to feel the gaps, the flow of thoughts slows down, you become more relaxed, the mind is there, and you are everywhere. So if the mind and thinking itself are not the problem, then what is?
It’s how we use them. Society gives you language; society cannot exist without it. Society needs language to communicate. But existence does not need it. It is not that you should exist without language—you have to use it—but it should just be a mechanism of verbalization for relating and communicating with each other. But as with any other mechanism, we should be able to turn it on and off.
If you can’t turn it off, if the mind goes on and on and you are incapable of turning it off, then the mechanism has gone mad! For a rest, you can drop language temporarily. Just as with the legs, when you walk, you need to move your legs, but they don’t move when you are sitting. If your legs go on moving while you’re sitting, this is madness—your legs are in trouble and under stress; stress can cause illness. In the same way, when you are not talking with anyone or writing or reading, language must be stopped. When you are able to stop language, then you can grow into meditation. The first requirement for meditative growth is to be aware of your constant verbalizing and to be able to stop it.
There must be moments when you just exist and there is no verbalizing. Just see things; do not verbalize. Be aware of your presence, but do not change it into words. Language is a repetition, old and dead. Existence is new and alive. When you see a rose, it is not a repetition of any other rose. It is a new rose. You never saw or smelled it before; it is a unique rose.
But when you say, “This is a rose,” you lump it in with all roses and you miss this new rose, the first and last and only one of its kind. Watch a sunset and don’t say anything. Let it be without language; learn to let the mind “be” while you stay with the sunset. It will be a process, because the habit of verbalizing is so old, but you need to break it. Watch the mind verbalizing—but you yourself stay with the sunset, the rose, with your beloved, yourself. The trick is to let the mind do what minds do, but you stay with the feeling. Say you are watching a full moon, and the mind says, “What a beautiful moon.”
Watch the mind verbalize, and let the thought come and go, then you stay with the feeling of the moon. It is easy when you are in love to capture the experience of just feeling. Look into the beloved’s eyes and fall into the feeling, a silent enjoyment. When love is alive, words are not there, because the very existence of love is so overwhelming and penetrating that it crosses the barrier of language and words. So don’t try to stop the mind. Just watch. Let thoughts come and go, and you will see some gaps start to appear.
Watch with no attachment, because attachment is food for the mind. Watching with no attachment is the way to stop the mind without making any effort to stop it. Then when you want to think, you think; if thought is needed, you use it. If language is not needed, allow it to rest. So it is nothing against the mind, but for the good of the mind you can let the mind rest when you don’t need it.
Just like legs—if you want to walk, you use them; if you don’t, you let them rest. If you need to communicate, then speak, if you don’t, just feel.
As Osho says: “No mind is not against mind; no mind is beyond mind. No mind does not come by killing and destroying the mind; no mind comes when you have understood the mind so totally that thinking is no longer needed. Your understanding has replaced it.”
Namaste, Dhara Lemos