A quiet mind is all you need, so hey, abide in the present, stay there and repeat, again and again and again, and merge in what is – that which you never cease to be – and in time you’ll find you are not even that. It is that simple! But, for many reasons, the biggest of which we’ll touch on here, dwelling in and as the present can be the most frustrating quest on the planet.
There were many times when I wanted to slam my head into a wall, but one such episode stands out the most, simply because of the painful level of desperation I had at the time. It was in the early 2000s, I worked for a care agency and I was struggling with ill health, anxiety and depression. I knew the way, the truth and the light, but my everyday experience was of being a person who was having a bad time. I was truly sick and tired of suffering. The agency sent me to a challenging behaviour unit and one of my first jobs of the day was to get a resident out of bed and washed and dressed. He wanted a bath and so I got it ready and then sat in the corridor outside the bathroom until he was ready to get out. I was told that he liked a long bath, and so it was the perfect opportunity to carry on with my quest of abiding in the present. While getting paid, there was nothing for me to do except sit and be aware of being. How lucky I am, I thought – let’s go!
Within minutes it was taking me everything in my power not to jump up and start headbutting the nearest wall. I’d had enough. I couldn’t do it. My mind was busy, busy, busy – no gaps, no peace, no joy, no control, no hope of finding the ever-present solution to suffering – and I was desperate for gaps, peace, joy, control and the end of suffering. What did I do? I tapped the back of my head a few times on the wall behind me, sighed an increasingly familiar sigh, and carried on trying to abide in the present for another decade; and then… hey, that’s a story for another day.
What was standing in my way back then?
I didn’t have what I call ‘the foundations of a quiet mind’.
You never cease to be the Ultimate Reality, but the reality filter, the brain, in the dream of what isn’t, says otherwise. The foundations of a quiet mind include the brain knowing what is and why a quiet mind – abiding in and as the sense of being – is all you need, and having the brain’s operation flowing through the calm, wisdom, positivity, confidence and solution-focused nature of the vast intellectual main cortex of the brain. From the main cortex we can abide in the present, repeat and get really good at this simple new skill.
But there’s another part of the brain, one that holds us back from abiding in and as the sense of being, the one that was in full effect when I wanted to slam my head into something, and one we’ll have to explore tomorrow, because my kids have suddenly announced that they want to have a semi-traditional Saturday late night ‘night walk’, so hey, I’ll be back…