Freedom from the dictates of the mind - one of Meditation's many gifts....
Everyday human experience is also referred to as waking state consciousness. In this state, the mind and the content of its thoughts are experienced as me; a person who is functioning in the world and whose thoughts are real and true. If these thoughts are repeatedly judgmental, telling me that I am not good enough - that I am too much of this and not enough of that - then what the thoughts say becomes my reality. If, for example, the mind produces thoughts every day that tell me I am not strong enough to overcome an obstacle, I will eventually believe it and not even try to make a change. In this way, the thoughts running through our waking state minds dictate whether we are happy or unhappy, successful or not.
Through Meditation we have a chance to enter a different state of consciousness: a dimension in which we are not defined by our thoughts, but where we know ourselves as the Knower of the thoughts. As that Knower we are not identified with the thoughts. We are able to see them for what they are: simple movements in the mind. As the Knower we can see the thoughts like waves that come and go in the ocean. They may be moving, but they don't affect the one knowing them.
When we first close our eyes to meditate, the presence of thoughts becomes immediately obvious. Depending on how active our day was, there may be lots of thought-activity, even agitation in our mind. As we start quietly watching, we notice that we have two possibilities: we can either engage with the mind's activity and think about the agitation, or we can reorient our attention towards the Knower that is aware of the presence of thoughts. The very acknowledgment of the Knower makes it clear that the thoughts are not as real as we may think in the waking state. If I can watch my thoughts, it means that I and the thoughts are not one and the same. It also means that I can choose where I want my attention to reside. It can either go towards the thoughts, get engaged with them and perpetuate the belief that the thoughts are who I am, or the attention can return and remain with the Knower and be free from the influence of the mind.
A regular Meditation practice, where we choose to be established as the Knower, builds a great inner power: The ability to know our True Nature as that Knower or Self which is free from the mind and its dictates.
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