How Do I Ignore My Mind?

Question:

I have been watching my mind and find it extremely hard to not follow some thoughts that my mind makes 'important'.

How do you do it? 

I know my mind is making me suffer and yet I still buy into it. It's like it cons me each time. I am being aware, but still get caught up in all the crap it throws at me.

Do I need a more focus? A mantra? Because my focus goes straight to the problematic thought - could be how bad I feel about myself and my mind will tell me why I feel bad about myself and I believe it to be true. It's usually concerning my health. Then once the thought passes, straight away this feeling comes up and of course it's not a good feeling and then I am drowning inside the feeling and soon the mind is racing.

It's like the mind brought it on, I believed it, the feeling comes up and soon the mind is freaking out and wondering why the feeling is there and how to stop it, or make it better or to get out the feeling in some way! Though it was the mind that brought it on in the first place.

How do you ignore the mind? Is there a way to do it step by step instructions? I read who we are on your site and it completely blew my mind. My imagination took me right into the images that everything we look at is like a massive TV screen and I am only the audience. (Well, that is how I took it!) Maybe I have got it all wrong. I am new to all of this, but I want the freedom that you speak about. I just don't know how to begin, I don't know where to start. I have read a lot of advice you have gave others, yet I couldn't make much sense in what you mean about staying with the feeling. I can stay with a feeling, purely because I don't have a choice, but I can't help but be taken in by my mind telling me - it's this, something is wrong, get help, do this, don't do that, go there, be this, be that, say this, say that, etc. So, I sit with it and just extremely frustrated, sometimes anxious but worst of all..........depressed!!! 

What am I doing wrong? How do I ignore the mind? Is there a simple effective way to achieve what you have Adam?

Thanks for reading! :-)

Harry


Response:

Don't think of any of this as if it is something you can do, be it right or wrong. Language can make it seem personal, but it is not personal at all. It is no one's achievement. The idea that "you" as a person can do something about all of it, enhances the suffering and sense of struggle. There are different approaches, but I will mention a few things...

You keep mentioning that you get sucked in to the mind, or you fall victim to the mind in some way, or you can not figure this out. What exactly are you? That is a good place to begin, and end. Habitually attention goes and focuses on what moves, on what is perceived, which makes what is perceived seem extremely important and real. Who are you to notice all of this movement and struggle taking place? If you are aware of suffering, frustration, depression etc, then what is it that feels caught up and stuck in it all? Is what feels stuck actually what you are?

Usually there is a contracted sense of attention or energy. This contraction appears to move and suffer thoughts. It is usually called "I". But is it what you are? You don’t have to try to separate yourself from it, since this can just create another separate self, but notice whether the personal sensation of "I" is actually who you are.

Ignoring the mind is more of an absence of interest, an absence of trying to control, or believing that you can control, thoughts that have already appeared. Once you notice that whether thoughts appear or not is not up to you, then naturally the attention will not feel so attached to them. If they also create suffering, then at some point you will not have the energy to try to manage them or make them "perfect" anymore. So to say "ignore" them means just don't do anything. Then if resistance or attachment still operates, if "doing" still happens inside, you don't have to react to this either. Everything is a movement that has already taken place. Everything appears by itself. No-one is responsible.

You mentioned believing thoughts, you can't help but believe them. It's mostly just habit. Experiment, just stop believing words. Then another thought might come up, "But I can’t help but believe thoughts" - this is just another thought, which is believed. The mind can be very clever when it operates as a separate self. What if you didn’t even believe the story and message that you wrote to me?

Thought, at a certain point, will always look to create a problem, say that something is not right, something is wrong or should not be like this. But it is all nonsense, just noise, that in itself, is meaningless.

If any of this becomes personal, it will feel constricted. If you are trying to save yourself, you will remain stuck. It is all Life's doing. Even ego and struggle is Life manifesting, appearing to be separate. Let Life move as it wishes.

Notice that all is moving, appearing and disappearing, so don’t give appearances such importance.

All of this advice and all other advice can quickly be adopted and interpreted by the little "me" inside, which wants to turn everything into a doing. It wants to make everything an activity, with a favorable result for itself, and perhaps a sense of achievement at the end.

But the advice is not personal. If I say "just be. Let yourself be one with the natural, impersonal sense of existence, or being, that is always with you whilst awake" - then the mind may go, "Ok. I'll just be. It's hard though. There are so many thoughts that I get sucked into and I can’t remain still." - But while this mind activity is all going on, the simple sense of existence, consciousness, remains the same and unconcerned. The trouble comes from identifying with "the person" that grows/appears out of existence. But even this personal identity is not solid or sustained. It comes and goes, but claims longevity.

Hopefully that will not overload you, I hope that helped in some way.

If you wish you can always confirm something in the comments below if you feel to,

Thanks for your question

Adam