Deepak Chopra, the medical doctor and gifted spiritual teacher, has written this: “Meditation is not at all a way of making your mind be quiet; rather it’s a way of entering into the quiet that’s already there, buried under fifty thoughts an average person thinks every day.”
Can you imagine? Fifty thousand (some say seventy thousand) thoughts you have rambling around in your mind every day? What could you possibly be thinking? How important could all that chatter be? How much of that blabbering really matters? Is it a bunch of old tapes playing, endlessly? How much of it might be negative thinking, originating in thought patterns you developed even before you could speak? Are you just thinking the same stuff everyday, over and over again? How boring and useless! Or maybe you think that you are so fascinating that your mind wastes no energy on vacuous thoughts. Maybe you are the exception to the rule.
Most of us are shocked when we try to go into a space of quiet. The mind, sometimes compared to a wild monkey, swinging endlessly from branch to branch, will try to thwart your effort. The mind is very enamoured of those goofy thoughts, but you don’t have to be. You can just be quiet, close your eyes, and be the witness, but not a participant, in those thoughts. As if the mind rolled them out on a TV screen in front of you, let them play outside of you. Let then go in one ear and out the other. Just watch, from your quiet perch, without judging or getting hooked into them. See what happens. You might even find your mind to be quite an amusement and not so important after all.
Usually the mind acts as a deterrent to opening to the thoughts that really matter. That there is a light within each of us that reminds us to love ourselves unconditionally. If we just shut off those other thoughts for a while, we might actually hear those words and see that light. Wouldn’t that be a marvel? There is plenty of time for the thousands of other thoughts, if you like those instead.