From a lecture by Shai Tubali on the nature of the mind.
This insight is probably the most important one you could ever hear about your mind. The first thing to understand about your mind is that your mind is not yours and actually because you think it is yours you can never really master it. That is the greatest illusion. We think that the mind is our personal problem. That all of the desires and fears and worries and hopes and over planning and controlling, all this needing and wanting – that all that is somehow our problem; that the mind is something that we personally have and need to face.
The mind is not personal
In reality the mind is not a personal thing at all. Everyone has it. It is the same mechanism for all of us. And for each of us it dresses up with different clothes, with nuances, with a personal touch that makes it look like it is our own thing. When it is yours, it is already impossible to let go of it because it is attached so closely and tightly. So the mind we want to silence, this talkative machine is not your special problem. The fact that it works for everybody in the same way and creates exactly the same disturbances is a crucial key. The first implication is that you can see the mind as a mechanism. It works in a certain automatic way and when you understand how it works, it can no longer fool you.
You will just think: “oh once again this mechanism creates fear and desire, that is what it does for a living. And this fear and desire are not specially my own, these are not my secret thoughts. Everyone has exactly the same thoughts”.
In this way you can look at the mind from the outside.
The mind is an energy field outside your head
It is not something that takes place inside your head. Think of the mind as of an energy field; ripples of consciousness, ripples of thought that hover over your head, that surround you and surround all of us. When you think: “yes, this is my thought”, you become a host for this thought. Now it enters your head, your brain and becomes yours. But when you just see the mind as an impersonal collective energy field it is much easier to disassociate from it. Start considering this thinking machine as something that takes place around you not inside. It is like the buzzing of a fly around you. Do you take personally the buzzing of a fly around you? Do you ever think: “oh this fly has really something personal with me, some unfinished business with me?”
Of course not! Flies buzz and hover over our heads and do what they do. And minds produce all this endless stream of thoughts, memories, fears, desires, wanting. The nuances are not really important. For someone this machine will create a desire for cars, and for another for sex or success. For someone it will create a fear of people, for someone else a fear of lights. But the fears and desires are just part of a very mechanical thing. Fear is fear. Desire is desire.
You don’t have to solve all the problems of your mind
So you can actually become free from the mind in a second, because this is not yours. You don’t really have to solve all the problems of your mind. These are not your problems and actually, in a way they are even not solvable. Like a river of thought that has no end. So just start suspecting your mind by starting to look at it as an external phenomenon, as thoughts that are not yours, that do not belong to you, that just are around you.
Look at all these thoughts that seem to trouble you and constantly hold on to the intelligent thought that these are not your special thoughts, these are just thoughts. You don’t need to deal with them at all, you don’t need to analyze them, understand them. You don’t need any of that. Because of our tendency to personalize this thinking machine we are sometimes ashamed of our thoughts. Well these thoughts are nothing to be ashamed of, you can be ashamed of only when these thoughts are really your own. So start externalizing these thoughts, Looking at them as if you would look at any other external phenomena. You can have this even as a meditation today. By sitting noticing how this mind is just a mind.
And if you now want to dive deeper into the actual experience of the free mind, then you are welcome to do so with the free, first lesson from the 21-day challenge “Mindmaster – Discover the secrets of the silent mind”.