Guest post by R. Busch
A January 2014 Huff Post article declared “Why 2014 will be the year of mindful living, ” and TIME magazine ran a recent cover story on “The Mindful Revolution.” Mindfulness is a trend catching on like wildfire–it involves dispassionately observing one’s thoughts and feelings in an effort to become more self-aware, to stay centered and calm in an increasingly fast paced, hectic world. But can it really achieve the desired results?
At the basis of mindfulness is consciousness. Teachers of meditation often use the analogy of an ocean to explain the mind and consciousness. The waves at the surface of the ocean are our conscious thoughts, below the surface are more subtle levels of thought, and at the peaceful, silent depths of the ocean is the source of thought, or pure consciousness, pure wakefulness.
Swimming, Floating, or Diving
Meditation practices like mindfulness involve swimming on the surface of the mind. In contemplation we monitor our thoughts, watching the trajectory of each wave and ripple. Practices like concentration keep us floating on the surface—we stay focused on one spot, but… don’t really get anywhere. Practices that allow the mind to transcend allow us to dive deep within, to go beyond the surface thinking level to access subtler, more peaceful, powerful levels of the mind and come to the level of pure consciousness. We can easily and effortlessly transcend through technologies of consciousness, such as Transcendental Meditation.
Water the Root to Enjoy the Fruit
Film director David Lynch started a foundation to bring Transcendental Meditation to at-risk populations. Mr. Lynch uses an analogy to explain the power of transcending, the power of consciousness, to transform our inner and outer world.
He asks us to imagine a tree with dry, yellow leaves and drooping branches. This is the state many find themselves in today. He explains,
‘Unfortunately, most of the cures people come up with are surface cures. And surface cures do not address the big problem. Surface cures are like tending to this tree on the level of the leaves, trying to get the yellow leaves green again… And maybe we get a yellow leaf green, but by the time we do, six or seven healthy leaves have turned yellow or brown behind us. The experienced gardener, they say, doesn’t worry about working at the level of the leaves or the branches. The experienced gardener waters the root.’
Mr. Lynch explains how, through this one action, the tree becomes healthy and strong automatically, and that Transcendental Meditation is the equivalent of watering the root for human life.
The Mind: a Monkey or a King?
Consciousness is the basis of true mindfulness. When we enliven our own consciousness, by transcending relativity and arriving at the field of pure silence, we then naturally become more mindful and present in activity; it happens automatically without effort. Some people experience that the mind is like a monkey, jumping here and there—wild, unruly, and exhausting to control. But wise teachers have explained that the mind is really like a king who has been wandering ceaselessly looking for a throne, a proper seat and resting place. The transcendent is that seat, the source of power and creativity at the basis of existence. Integrating this experience of inner silence into activity creates a worthy vantage point from which to experience life in all its fullness and glory, to perceive the broadest value, and thus spontaneously engage in the most exalted form of mindfulness.
When one experiences the transcendent the mind naturally stays present or mindful because the experience is so joyful. In addition, this is a full experience of mindfulness because the surface level of the mind is awakening to the deepest level of the mind—thus the total potential of the mind is enlivened.
The Consciousness Revolution!
Millions of people around the world practice Transcendental Meditation, including leaders in politics, business, and the arts. This simple mental technique is a way to access and enliven inner happiness, peace, and creativity.
With the great work of the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace, the Consciousness Revolution is rapidly growing all over the world! The Foundation has helped many at-risk populations to learn Transcendental Meditation, including over 300,000 students in schools, those in prisons, and veterans who have Post-Traumatic Stress. Anyone can take a dive within, water the root, enliven inner happiness and peace, and help make the world a better place from the inside out!
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