My first reaction to this statement about the voices in my head is, yeah, everybody’s talking at me, especially me! I don’t know about you but my voice is constantly chattering at me, like that “Monkey Mind” spoken of by meditators. And often that voice seems so critical. As Rosemary states:
We all have those ‘old tapes’ playing in our mind and sometimes it is difficult to figure out that we don’t have to listen to them anymore. The first step in personal growth is to decide on YOUR TRUTH in this present moment.
Those old tapes may be from another time and other people’s words are spoken, but the sound is of my own voice. And it is not always easy to shut me up!
I have been a seeker all my life. Maybe the “truth” I have sought after is the means to quiet my mind-talk, to shut down the litany so I can listen for a deeper Truth.
What does your inner voice tell you? Mine is often reminding me of all the things I have to do; it runs through lists and sorts through them endlessly for priorities, shifting items, ordering them. At other times the voice is reviewing reactions to events; examining my actions, reactions, judging, analyzing, finding the fault.
I’m working on this constantly, taming the voice, searching for the lessons. I do follow Rosemary’s prescription:
Ask yourself, ‘Is this thought, belief, rule true for me?’
And often it no longer holds true, if it ever did. I remain vigilant to detect the old voice, to listen instead for what is true for me now. I practice many methods of doing this from physical yoga and qigong, to emotional and mental writing and creating poetry, to spiritual meditation, ritual work and touching Higher Mind. These practices work well; the Monkey Mind subsides, the critical voice quiets, the list builder recedes to his corner.
The best part of moving (and the worst) is handling all the books! Both Rosemary and I are book collectors (and we even read a lot of them!). Moving them is an incredible chore and we have committed to slimming our collection down to lessen the load. But during our recent move books have jumped out at me insisting that I read them. I accumulated quite a stack as I opened boxes and stuffed shelves.
One book rose to number 2 on the list and I just finished it: I am That by Swami Muktananda. The subtitle is: The Science of HAMSA from the VIJNANA BHAIRAVA. And this book, this time, just might change my life!
I don’t remember if I read this book before. We’ve had it for years; one of Rosemary’s earliest business cards as a newly ordained reverend was in it as a bookmark. Reading it now struck a significant chord in me and I may have stumbled on that Truth I’ve been seeking all these years.
And it is so simple! Hamsa is a mantra of the breath. As we inhale we make the sound of Ham and as we exhale we make the sound of Sa. The Sanskrit meaning of Hamsa is I am That. As I read this little book I was immediately drawn into the practice. Every breath I take is repeating this mantra. This mantra is reminding me of who I am. And as Rosemary points out in her post yesterday:
Let’s set the record straight right here, right now. You ARE good enough, smart enough, pretty enough. You ARE enough!
Now when my inner voice grows loud with lists and shoulds and judgments, I remember to breathe; remembering to breathe I hear Hamsa, hearing Hamsa I am called back to who I truly am. I am That!
Do you have good practices to quiet that voice in your head, that Monkey Mind?