Worry is Optional...
Two very talented friends and meditators have recently created a YouTube Channel called Yog Tales, where they share deep and inspiring animated stories depicting the philosophy of Yog.
'Yog' (a sanskrit word translated as 'Oneness') is the name of an ancient science investigating many of mankind's fundamental questions such as 'Who am I?', 'What is the purpose of my life?' and 'How do I fulfill this purpose?'. These are the topics of each video presented there. Their stories are based on and inspired by rich yogic literature and all of the voices used in the videos are from lifelong meditators and Yog philosophy scholars.
The short video I am sharing with you today is a humorous and insightful story about a young man plagued by worry. His mind is on what I call "automatic pilot". It is agitated and moving restlessly in several directions at the same time. Our young man believes that all his thoughts are real and true. He is therefore going along with the stream of the constant chatter in his head. As you have seen in the video - or as you many know from your own experience - following random thoughts as if they were the reality, can create a very unpleasant sense of insecurity and agitation. Once we are caught in this spiral, the negative thoughts seem to feed on the drama and the ensuing anxiety. They tend to jump to ever wilder conclusions. When out of control, they can become endless imaginative scenarios of doom. We call the process of accepting these thoughts "worry" and most people believe that there isn't much that can be done about it.
Nothing is farther from the truth. Like the young man in the video, we can become aware that these thoughts are merely creations of an active mind who is playing tricks on those who believe in it. Just because the thoughts are there, doesn't mean they are true. They appear in our head uninvited, and if we decide to watch them in a neutral and detached way - as if we were watching a movie at the theatre - then we notice that they also eventually disappear. More importantly, we notice that just because our thoughts tell a certain story, that story isn't necessarily true. If we make an effort to observe, we come to see that thoughts are nothing more than movements in our mind. Depending on the situation we find ourselves in, or determined by memories of previous situations, the movement has a specific, sometimes dramatic, flavour. But it is still just movement in the mind. The most important observation in this process of watching is the realisation that I - the one watching the movement - am utterly free from the thoughts. I am there when the thoughts create drama, I am there when they are peaceful, and I am there when there are no thoughts.
The experience of this sense of I is the secret and the gift of Meditation. When we close our eyes, we become aware of the movement of the thoughts that come and go. Whether they are pleasant or unpleasant, numerous, just a few or entirely absent - the I is aware and knowing. It is free and uninvolved, yet it is always present. In fact that I is our True Nature. It is the Essence of our Being, the Source of Existence and our very Identity. It may appear to be covered by worry and agitation - but just as the sun is always shining, even when it appears to be covered by clouds - the I or Self is shining throughout. Meditation allows us to know that we Are the Self. When we mediate regularly, this sense of Self as Me becomes strengthened and stabilised. We become established as the Self, and random worry or agitation of the mind won't affect us in any way.
Are you ready to be free from worry? Contact Sampriya for a free half hour consult to find out how she can help you build or expand your own Meditation Practice with Online Meditation Training and Online Meditation Mentoring.
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