Confused? Well, maybe it will help if you think of a time when you caught your mind babbling, producing a stream of thoughts and inner chatter. For a millisecond, you observed, watching and listening from a space somewhere separate from your mind. If you don’t think this has happened to you, it might be that you don’t remember.
There may also have been times when your mind was still, just for a fraction of a second or more, and in that gap between thoughts, you felt the sensation of space and oneness with your surroundings. People occasionally experience this sense of freedom and calm in the short gap between breaths, when they relax and their minds are silent.
Might the real you be the observer of thoughts, which expands when there’s no inner chatter? If not, who is that? It’s important to consider you are more; knowing this means you can rise above thoughts that bring you down. You see, your mind consists of your past, experiences, things people said about you, and things you’ve told yourself. It isn’t the core of your being, the source of who you are.
Your mind gathered ideas, some of which were false about you. It formed opinions and became critical about certain aspects of the real you. When you were a child, people told you to color within the lines, not to talk back, and to behave; this threw your growing mind into a spin. Somehow, it had to house these ideas because you were little and didn’t know any better. You thought grown-ups knew the score, so you consolidated their input in your head.
Think of your mind as born when your body was, or, perhaps in your mother’s womb. It began life as a blank sheet, ready to be printed on with instructions, which were to come from its environment, genes, and other people. As your body grew, your mind grew, and the ideas you gathered stuck. All along though, the essence or core you, which is sometimes referred to as the unconditioned you, was present.
The you that wanted to be creative and color outside the lines, not accepting made-up rules about how life should be, still exists. The you that wanted to express his or herself verbally, but was shot down and told to be quiet, exists. The you that wanted to explore, branch out and question what was going on, exists; that’s the real you.
If you can take this idea and sit with it for a while, you’ll be able to step out of the barriers of your mind for a moment and expand your inner vision. If you can sit with it regularly, mulling it over, you might see changes in the way you view life, your relationships, and how you behave. You can step outside the barriers of your unconditioned self, your mind, and think and act from the core you. Doing so might take practice, you’re so used to your ego-self, or personality, stepping in and running the show. However, if you regularly meditate on the concept that you are not your mind, tapping into the unconditioned, free, and vital you will get easier. Eventually, the unconditioned you will expand into the space you provide, and you’ll no longer worry about made-up rules for life that don’t serve you. At the same time, you’ll stop worrying about what others think and let a sense of peace flow into your life.