Monday, December 22, 2008

Finding the Off Switch

On Friday, in the post "Tao of Dreams", I brought up the point that our minds often interfere with our brains. The former clogs the receptors of the latter and we often find it difficult to become one with Tao. So, it would seem that the simple solution is to turn off the mind from time to time. This is not easy, however.

I suppose it's easier for some. I know that many people can get lost in music, poetry or nature itself. I envy such individuals!

For years one of my greatest irritations with myself was that I seemed unable to disengage my mind. It didn't matter the time of day, the location or what I was doing. I could be watching Jeopardy on TV or trying to go to sleep -- my mind wouldn't shutdown. Millions of random things ran through it constantly and I analyzed almost every bit of it.

Unlike others, the arts or nature didn't do the trick. When I listen to music, I either repeat the words of the song in my head or replay the chords. When I read, I say the words out loud in my mind. Even trying to get lost in nature didn't work either because I was internally commenting on every sound, sight or smell.

As I grew older, I tried to teach myself how to meditate. I tried chanting some mantras, but I was constantly analyzing the mantras themselves. I also tried to blank out everything -- to sit as an empty vessel -- but I found that I was always saying to myself, "Don't think of anything" which, in and of itself, is thinking of something!

Part of my difficulty in this area, I believe, is tied to AS. As I lead a very repetitive existence, this pattern is exhibited in how my mind operates. I suppose I find comfort in repeating things and, since I don't deal well with change or an interruption of my routines, an ever engaged mind is a defense mechanism.

However, in the past three or four years, a marvelous thing has occurred. When I finally gave up on trying to find the off switch, it magically appeared! While I still can't manage to keep the button pushed down for long periods, I am now able to flick the switch from time to time.

In essence, when I quit thinking about it all the time (mind), it made itself self-evident (brain).


  1. I think this is somewhat like what happens to me if I try to go to sleep. I do pretty much all the same things you just discribed. My mind doesn't turn off. I've only entered a metitiative state once in my life. Even while listening to classical music, I try to pick out each instrument, that's also the reason I have to listen to it at a good high volume.

    I have a TV box that's let me pause, I use it all the time to let my mind wander off on the subject or I start talking to the boyfriend. I think sometimes I annoy him because we can't just watch the show, I'm constantly pausing it :P

  2. Maybe as you get older, it will be easier to space out.


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