What about the Voices ?
As I go about my day, I hear voices inside my head. One voice reminds me to do something; another butts in, reminding me of an unresolved problem. Then, a feeling of loneliness pops in and a voice says the name of a dear friend. I make a mental note to call - later. While the voices in my mind are chattering, I realize I am driving to the store and need to stop at the red light. I step on the brake. This decision to stop the car means I engaged the frontal lobes of my brain - I had a thought that led to an action in my physical reality. But, does that mean I was conscious?
What just happened?
Part of my mind was aware of my physical world; the rest of it was wandering around in my mind-space. In reality, we all exist in two worlds simultaneously - physical and mind - and for most, neither one has full attention, full awareness at any given moment.
Most people live life on "auto- pilot" mode. Habit: learned response without any conscious thought - just going through the motions to get through the day - jumping between the voices coming from the body-brain and the chattering voices in the mind. Neuroscientist, Michael Graziano*, (Scientific American: Vol. 9/2018, pg. 53) believes that...
"all mental attributes can be attributed to brain and brain stem
activity that, in fact, do not require a person to be "conscious"
in order to get through the day. And when the concept of
"self" (how one personally views oneself), is linked to the brain
activity, the person says "I am having a conscious experience".
So, when I realized I was driving my car, I drew my mind's focus to my physical "self" and stepped on the brake. At that moment, my awareness focused on my physical reality. The rest of the time my awareness was wandering in "mind-space".But, just because I think I am conscious, doesn't mean that I am.
Most people wander in mind-space most of the time. They live their whole life wandering. But, a few wish to wake up and be aware of what is going on, so they turn to meditation. The problem is that most find meditation difficult because it requires being conscious and single-focusing awareness for longer than 7 seconds (average time most people can concentrate without the mind wandering). It requires repeated practice to build the skills necessary, to gain control over your awareness which originates in "mind", an attribute of consciousness. Meditation requires concentration, so over time, you gain this skill through repeated practice. The more consistent the practice, the more control you have over your awareness. This new state of control over your mind initiates "waking up" from unconscious living. Once you wake up, you can learn to quiet the chattering voices that distract you, so you can enjoy mind-space - the peaceful silence that has been lying hidden beneath the noisy voices you've experienced for years.
Single-focusing the mind leads to conscious living - being "awake" so you can really see where you are, This new state then encourages you to respond the way you choose to rather than auto-pilot. It also frees the mind from untamed awareness and mind chatter, so you can truly experience calmness in your mind. The benefits continue as you hear your body's voice and act accordingly, to support your own health. Integration of your body and mind begins. Now you are truly discovering Life through the physical world and the space in your mind!
Peace becomes possible!
So, while we are in this time of re-thinking yourself and the world you live in, why not try to gain control over your mind. Learn some skills that will make this day and everyday a better experience. You don't need any props - just a few moments of your time - everyday. I offer lots of tools to help you. Visit my Patreon community and start the journey.
May Peace Be your Way of Living,