I believe it was Eckhart Tolle who said that, “Rather than being your thoughts and emotions, be the awareness behind them,” and anyone who has ever practiced Zen (or presence) would be capable of realizing the (warranted) value that Tolle places on complete thoughtlessness. However, anyone who has ever practiced Zen would also probably know that achieving complete thoughtlessness is much easier said than done. In fact, thoughts like “There must be something I can do to silence my mind” are often formulated almost immediately after someone initially tries to achieve thoughtlessness. Yet, like most things in life, the key is to never give up and never give in. By way of spirituality, any human being can genuinely let go or release, and truly accept and move forward positively. Please read the information below in order to quiet your mind as well as any human being can expect to manage.
#1: Acknowledge and accept that it’s impossible to truly silence your mind.
It’s human nature to think, so don’t attempt to accomplish the impossible. Instead, strive hard to achieve complete thoughtlessness while knowing full well you won’t be able to—but also while knowing that by striving to do so you will enable yourself to achieve the greatest degree of thoughtlessness possible.
#2: Never judge yourself.
Only by embracing your thoughts, feelings, and emotions can you truly calm your mind and experience genuine peace as a human being. It’s always better to accept the reality of something as opposed to denying how a certain part of the world really is, or how life as a whole is.
#3: Utilize both analysis and action.
This is a great way to get to where you want to go in life, but more importantly, it’s an incredible way to figure out where you want to go in life before you begin striving diligently yet aimlessly. Analyzing normally involves thinking about the past and the future, and action always involves the present in some way—so it’s easy to see why both analyzing and acting should be utilized closely in conjunction. What’s more, when something unexpected happens (as such things often do in life), you’ll be much more capable of adjusting to it and handling it efficiently and effectively.
#4: Consciously focus.
Furthermore, take the next step and meditate. Buddha said that the mind is a dancing monkey that always looks for ways to escape from the present, and that focus is like an oak tree that grounds you in the present; so to prevent the monkey from breaking away, tie a rubber band between them so the monkey will snap back when it goes too far. Or—in reality—follow the tips below in order to enhance your focus and presence.
Remind yourself of your present state.
For instance, when you’re washing your hands tell yourself, “I am washing my hands. I am washing my hands. I am washing my hands.”
Be conscious of your senses.
For instance, when you’re taking a shower, watch the water trickle down your skin, inhale the fragrance of body shampoo, enjoy the warmth, and enjoy the sound of falling water.
Zen masters promote doing things in slow motion which causes human beings to act consciously rather than acting on autopilot. Once you start doing this, you will be more capable of being spontaneous, happy, and successful.
#5: Keep track of your focus.
Even when you’re focused on staying focused, it’s still very easy to lose focus. However, they key is to remain diligent and calm. Once you finally regain your focus—and maintain it for even a short while—the positive and productive thoughts that you generate will be worth much more than the periods of un-focus that you probably would have experienced regardless of how focused you were trying to be at all.
Presence is choosing.
Once you choose, eventually you will accomplish, and once you accomplish, you will experience senses of peace and existence which you never realized could exist previously. Ironically, tolerating negative thoughts will generate a greater number of more significant positive thoughts and results. In order to choose genuine presence and true comprehension, accept, release, and progress.
*This content was inspired by an amazing article that can be found here.