There is a power within each of us; within every organ, every cell, every molecule, every atom of every life form on this planet. This power has been called many things throughout time and its name matters not. Those who are aware of this power know the depth and breadth of that power to be infinite and eternal. They know too that there is no description possible. You cannot see this power, nor can you feel, taste, smell or hear it. Those senses are the senses of life on this planet.
So how can you become aware of this unknown and unknowable power? Stop thinking!!! That’s simple isn’t it? Hmmm. Maybe, maybe not. We all have moments we call breathtaking, as in a magnificent sunrise/sunset for example, when mind is still. These are spontaneous moments of bliss – the power of the unknown. Yet to consciously stop thinking is one of the biggest challenges we face. Mind muddies our awareness and controls our experience of life, until we learn to let it go, until we can allow the power within to emerge, until mind becomes a magnificent tool for that inner power to use in its creative expression in life.
What is left when there is no thought? Though you may experience the forms of life through your senses when you stop thinking, like smelling the freshness of the air after a rain shower, or seeing the joy of a baby’s smile, there is an experience beyond those senses – far beyond, far deeper, far greater than any planet earth sense can ever be.
Meditation is perhaps the most well known means of accessing this place that isn’t a place. The experience of deep meditation, taken into action in the world, is often described as the experience of being in the ‘zone’ or in the ‘flow’.
The power of that which is, that which I AM, is not the power of kings and lords, of tycoons and tyranny. That power is the power of the ego mind in action, not the power of that which simply ‘IS’ in action. There is a vast difference which is still relatively unknown in mainstream thought today.
There are however, many pointers to this power. Language is our main means of communication and there are many words that point the way, in many writings and teachings. Experiences we have such as the magnificence of nature that stops us in our tracks in awe, or hearing some beautiful music, can point the way. We can recognize the innate power behind these experiences.
Knowing What is Mind and What Isn’t
Mind wants to understand everything; to analyze, to dissect, and especially, to control. Knowing this inner power that we really are, is a threat to its existence in the way it understands life and it will do everything it can to divert and distract. This happens so subtly most of the time that we aren’t aware of mind’s maneuverings. It often isn’t until something happens to shock us out of our every day lives, that we begin to awaken to this process and to this inner power.
Stop thinking you say, but that’s not so easy to do. No – it isn’t. In fact it’s probably one of the hardest things you can ever undertake. But what we can do is put our attention on this present moment, right here, right now, no matter what is going on in the outside world. Mind, especially if we are caught in the middle of whatever is happening, won’t want to stop for even a moment. So that’s the very first challenge to overcome. One, long, deep conscious breath is all it takes.
What am I feeling? Inside my body?
Notice your breath as you draw it in and as you let it go. What are you feeling? Inside your body? If you are in physical pain for some reason, focus on the pain. If you are in emotional pain, focus on that. if you are stressed or overwhelmed, focus on that. You aren’t trying to make anything go away – you are simply focusing on it, allowing it to be there . Not judging, not wishing anything to be different, just letting everything be as it is in this moment. And keeping your focus there.
As you focus, become aware of your fingertips, your toes, and see if you can sense an energy inside them. One conscious breath at a time.
Many years ago, I was listening to a Deepak Chopra talk in my car and I heard him recite this poem written by Tragore. I experienced the words so powerfully that I had to pull over ro the side of the road and rewind the tape over and over. I have carried these words with me in my wallet and on my wall ever since.
The Stream of Life
The same stream of life that runs through my veins night and day runs through the world and dances in rhythmic measures.
It is the same life that shoots in joy through the dust of the earth in numberless blades of grass and breaks into tumultuous waves of leaves and flowers.
It is the same life that is rocked in the ocean-cradle of birth and of death, in ebb and in flow.
My limbs are made glorious by the touch of this world of life.
And my pride is from the life-throb of ages dancing in my blood at this moment.
~ Rabindranath Tagore; from Gitanjali (Song Offerings) Nobel Prize for Literature 1913* https://madlyinlovewithlife.wordpress.com/2014/04/20/rabindranath-tagore-the-stream-of-life/
For me, this is the power I AM. Or at least the words create a small, albeit dramatic sense of I AM energy in this moment. I especially love It is the same life that shoots in joy through the dust of the earth in numberless blades of grass and breaks into tumultuous waves of leaves and flowers. Maybe because of my deep love of nature and wildflowers anyway, but I feel the words shooting through my awareness and breaking into tumultuous waves of joy and bliss. Oh to maintain that awareness through all the moments of my days.
Words matter – be they written, spoken and/or thought. Pay attention to them.
Healing Depression Thinking
I learned a long time ago, when I was experiencing some pretty deep and nasty bouts of depression, just how true that statement is.
I would be feeling just fine, plugging along through my day, doing my thing. The first inkling of a depressive attack on the horizon was a vague uneasiness which would quietly build until it caught my attention. If I became aware early enough, I could catch it in motion and consciously think different thoughts. This meant deliberately thinking clear, positive thoughts. When you are in a down frame of mind, the last thing you want to do is think positive thoughts. You naturally resist them; they sound and feel so fake.
But I persevered – what was there to lose? I would repeat some phrase such as how grateful I was to have a job and how amazing the floor boards were. Then I’d get back to the task at hand, and about 5 minutes later I’d remember how bad I had been feeling – and to my utter amazement, those feelings and thoughts had disappeared.
If I didn’t catch the downward spiral early enough, it would overtake me and all I could do was surrender to it and let that episode run its course.
Eventually, I was able to rise above those bouts – it took a long time – but a combination of therapies, medication, meditation and practicing conscious awareness seems to have done the trick. Now I experience what I would call ‘normal’ ups and downs and I feel like I have the tools to manage them.
I am also conscious of that inner power a lot more than I used to be, which has been an end result of that particular journey for me.
Catching thinking before it descends into habitual patterns is a kind of intervention really and can be applied to any thinking that interferes with the free flow of the power within. I wrote about this in Becoming a Rat Catcher – about catching those pesky thoughts and therefore being able to see and create a different reality source from the inner Presence I AM as it flows forth into my life.
Awareness Comes First
Discovering areas in life where our thinking is still unconscious is an ongoing journey, but if we have just a glimpse of the true inner power ‘I AM’ then we can be aware there are infinite possibilities that can arise from any and all situations Life Itself presents to us.
In the end, as Eckhart Tolle says so often, we eventually come to the understanding that indeed, becoming conscious is our first priority in life and all else is secondary, and that everything that happens is an opportunity, often disguised as loss, to awaken.
Awakening is the true measure of success – not who I think I am in the world, or how much I have and do. The ability to recognize ego mind from inner being is paramount. Then thoughts, words and actions that arise from a place of awakened consciousness have a unique quality of the inner power we all are – sunbeams emanating from the sun.