Listening to Your Mind
Can you listen to your mind in the same way that you may listen to a bird singing? When I say listening to a bird singing, I don’t mean identifying what kind of bird it is, or what tree the bird is sitting in, or examining the notes of the bird’s song. None of that. What I am asking is, can you simply experience the song directly, without any classification or categories.
In the same way, can you listen to your mind? What thoughts is it thinking? What memories is the mind remembering? What anxiety, joy, fear, longing, or projections of the future are passing through the mind? Can you perceive these thoughts without identifying with them? Can you experience these thoughts without trying to figure them out, to get rid of them, to hold onto them, or to judge them? Can you simply perceive the thought that is passing through your mind right now and directly experience that thought as being something that is just passing through the mind and allow it to pass through?
Through this direct, non-judgmental perception there is a freeing of yourself from the tyranny of thought. It is a relinquishing of the belief that the thoughts are real and what they are telling you is true. What is real, however, is the direct experience itself; you as you sit here, in this moment, having a thought and watching it. And in the same way, picking up a cup of tea and really tasting it. Or looking out the open window and really hearing the bird, seeing the tree, and feeling the wind.
It takes no effort to engage in this experience. In fact, when you release all effort and all trying, you find yourself perceiving without any of the work of analyzing. You can live your life free of putting everything into nice, neat boxes in your mind. Instead, this direct experience opens up the potential of your life and you see that you are like the sky and the thoughts are like the clouds that move through the sky of yourself.
So many of us get stuck on stress and anxiety and fear, identifying with stress, anxiety, and fear. You then become dependent on defining yourself through your stress, anxiety, and fear and you identify yourself with stress, anxiety, and fear. And when misidentifying yourself with those conditions, you mistakenly become those conditions and your life becomes diminished and narrow. While recognizing that stress, anxiety, and fear exist you also have the power within yourself to step back for a better view. Seeing that, like the bird singing freely in the tree, your true nature is this freedom.
When you liberate yourself in this way, you see that you are not the person you thought you were, that the experience of stress, anxiety, and fear was nothing but a misunderstanding. You may then realize that there is no difference between the deepest essence of yourself and the birdsong.