SURFING ON THE STREAM OF CONFUSED THINKING

In MINDFULNESS by Frans Stiene0 Comments

Our true identity is always clear, bright, compassionate and full of wisdom. But often we seem to focus more on our confused mind than on our true identity, due to the habits we have formed over time.
We may have picked up these habits as kids through our parents, education, society, etc. Some habits are easy to let go of, as we hold them in an open hand. Others can be very hard to let go of,  as we hold them in a clenched fist. But we always have a choice whether to follow our habitual patterns or not.

Imagine these patterns like a stream: the mind stream of worry, fear, anger, jealousy, just to name a few. We can choose to jump into the stream of worry and if this stream is habitually very strong, it can carry us away very quickly. It feels like we are being carried away further and further from our true identity. And if we stay in this stream of our confused mind, eventually it may become a river with a stronger current to carry us away further still. But if we investigate this through meditation practices, we come to the conclusion that all we have to do is climb out of the confused mind streams and we will find that our true identity is there. Of course, to do this is not so easy. But no matter where and when we climb out of the stream, our true identity is there.

The more we practice meditations, the more clearly we can start to recognize these kinds of individual confused mind streams into which we jump daily. And the more clearly we start to see these confused mind streams, the more clearly we can see our choices. We can choose to jump into them and get carried away in the current, or we can choose to stay in the space of our true identity, full of compassion and wisdom. Thus the more we remember our true identity, the more aware we become of the different streams of thinking. When we stay with these moments of awareness, these moments of our true identity, we feel less need to jump into the stream of our confused thinking.

Often we may feel that we need to stay in the stream of our confused thinking because that is how we “I”dentify ourselves. And when we climb out of this stream we feel we start to lose our “I”dentity. We are the worrier, the angry one, or the jealous one; we have been conditioned that way. Therefore it can be scary to climb out of the river of our conditioned thinking and onto the bank of our true identity because we have to change the way we are used to thinking about ourselves. But as soon as we are on the bank of our true identity, we feel we can finally let go of our mistaken “I”dentity. We finally feel free. This means that when something triggers our worry, fear, or jealousy, we do not have to follow our habitual jumping in to that specific mind stream, and therefore we do not get carried away anymore. We can stay stable, free, and open on the bank of our true identity.

Imagine again our mind patterns like a stream and remember how we may see our habits – easy to let go of as we hold them in an open hand or hard to let go of as we hold them in a clenched fist. If we are in a stream, flailing away with clenched fists, do we get anywhere? Not likely. We may splash and stir up the water a bit, but we will stay stuck in the same small space. But if instead we open our hands, minds, and hearts, moving into the flow of the stream, we either can paddle forward to or float back to the bank of our true identity much more easily. Again, practicing meditations helps us to recognize our mind patterns and habits, and helps us to see our choices.

But if we do fall into the stream, instead of flailing around and getting stuck in anger, worry, or “I”dentity, let’s instead choose to go with the flow of gratitude and compassion, climb back out onto the bank and into the light of our true identity.

About the Author
Frans Stiene

Frans Stiene

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I love travel, teaching and writing, and have been teaching meditation internationally for over seventeen years. I am passionate about studying Japanese esoteric Buddhist teachings like Shingon, Tendai, and Shugendo, and then teaching them from a less strict viewpoint so that we all can benefit from these wonderful teachings. My main focus is helping people to remember their own true identity, because it is only through remembering this that we can start to create a world full of compassion and wisdom. My website. Other LEVEKUNST articles by the same author.

Featured image and photos by Alan Robb, South Africa.

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