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Quieting the Mind

People talk a lot about needing to “quiet the mind”, and I get it, but I’ve just got a really different take on it. When people talk about “the mind” like that, they are referring to the chattering in the head. To me, ‘mind’ is something else: as I experience it, my mind suffuses the totality of my being. Furthermore, only when the whole of my being is present to an issue does it feel like I’m really thinking. What passes for thinking in our culture is something else: the thinking that is segregated in the head. That kind of thinking specializes in patterns of expectation, and primarily occupies itself with them – recombining them, revising them, colliding them together, and rearranging them. As a result, it tends to circulate within a closed loop, unable to step into newness.

What “quiets the mind,” as our phraseology puts it, is when we open the loop so that our segregated thinking is brought into relationship with the deep intelligence of the body. The chatter, by joining the whole, loses its reactivity. But for me, that isn’t quieting the mind – it’s activating the mind. When my thinking escapes the white noise of stale patterns being shuffled around in the head, and drops deep into the body, it enters a state that feels by contrast like pure signal. It is a form of thinking in which every cell in the body attunes and contributes; a form of thinking that draws on the harmonies at the depths of my being, and feels its way forward beyond stale pattern into newborn form. And that thinking feels its way forward not alone, but hand in hand with the present. It is what I referred to in New Self, New World as ‘corational thinking’. In the deep currents of that state, thinking, being and the present are a unity. And then what I experience as ‘my mind’ is what I would call ‘the thinking of my being’; and it is in that attuned state of flow that I feel my mind in its most truly activated state. Rather than seeking to ‘quiet my mind’, then, what I truly seek is to activate it.

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