The Inner Dialogue
Each one of us, called human, has the ability to conceptualize reality as we experience it and what is more we also have the uncanny and miraculous ability to record in our brains, every perception, every feeling and indeed every minute of life that moves through us and past us as we exist on this earth. We, our brains, are like unlimited size computer hard disks or CDs which store every sense perception that occurs in front of us: every sight, sound, smell, taste, touch and feeling. All of this info, since our youth, is stored in these marvelous brains and the wonder is that any it can be re-called to mind in a nanosecond, often when we seemingly choose to or not. This is obviously important in day to day life as we multitask in our busy lives, and it helps us remember that a red light means stop and coffee smells great in the morning and 5:00 PM on a clock means it is time to leave work and go home. The problem comes in when this disk drive keeps spinning in the background about millions of things that have absolutely no bearing on the moment we are faced with, and worse when the background noise, thoughts upon thoughts about unresolved memories, unfulfilled expectations, worries about tomorrow are so thick in our minds that we begin missing reality or are so distracted by them that reality passes us by without us even being aware of it. A simple example is how we can be so immersed in thoughts, that while driving, we may miss our exit on a freeway or even drive 40 miles and not remember how we traveled the distance.
We have been conditioned to believe that this dialogue is important to us. We even believe that this dialogue, which is spoken in our own voice, in our own language, how and when we want it to be, is the way it is always supposed to be, that it is great to be able to remember a million yesterdays and work out a million possible tomorrows. The problem occurs when we begin to live out of this dialogue instead of living here and now. Some people rely so heavily on the dialogue for answers, for guidance and for solutions that they are or can be oblivious to what is outside of themselves. Have you even been in a conversation with someone who appears to not be listening to a word you are saying and always blurts out their own thoughts, having not heard you? It is indeed very annoying. But probably, it is beyond their control. They are conditioned to believe that in order to live they need to let this dialogue guide them. We are all guilty of this, especially if we have some problematic future event facing us. We spend a lot of time looking for solutions, playing out possible outcomes, rehearsing, worrying and predicting. You know it is very energy wasting and time consuming to be thinking all the time. Many of the thoughts in our inner dialogue are often angry, violent and oppressive and self effacing. No wonder that stress if the number one medical problem in our society today. Most of our stress is self inflicted and is based on our inability to let the dialogue cease, hence our controlling nature and the many unresolved psychological wounds in our memory. And as far as finding solutions: it has been proven that most solutions of hard fought problematic thinking most often occur in moments completely thought free as in the intuitive moment of "eureka" or perhaps upon awakening from a deep sleep, etc.
There must be a better way. And indeed there is! I have a very simple question to ask you. To whom is this dialogue is even occurring? Have you even asked yourself that? We all assume that this is the normal way of being: to have this noisy dialogue going on all the time. Well, my dear friends, perhaps there is another way.
Try this simple experiment. Listen for one second to the thoughts in your head. Turn your attention inward. What is it you hear? perhaps you may see or hear that there is nothing there at all. You see by looking for the thoughts, for the noise, for the incessant spinning, it all seems to disappear. Of course, one second later it starts again and our attention is blindly attracted to the thoughts.
Perhaps, through your busy day, if you can take a second here and there to once again look inside and see this inner dialogue, you will again and again be amazed that by attending to it and simply being aware of it - it just disappears. Rest there in that point of disappearance. And resting there brings with it a great sigh of relief and peace. You have found your true identity: the pure silence, your true self and home.
This might seem so overly simple and yet it has been my own personal practice for years, the importance of which cannot be overly stated, for by working on this bit by bit, the mind after some time begins to quiet down and eventually gives up and soon all that remains is that quiet space, when the dialogue is not, and in that magnificent moment you may discover that "you" are not as well. The "you" that remains is a pool of pure silence, an ocean of gentle awareness that allows the thoughts to come and to go, the dialogue to play on and on, until it is finally discovered that the dialogue is not controlling you anymore. You have always been here, allowing the dialogue to be. And so the thoughts, beliefs, memories, dreams and expectations, which are transitory, which are impermanent lose their significance. They are seen merely as thoughts and beliefs and memories and dreams and expectations, but the real you, the gentle space of living freedom is now seen to be real, true, universal and eternal and full of love.
Go figure! :)
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