Sunday, September 14, 2008


When it comes to hurricanes and storms of the mind, all we can do is hang on to something that won't move. We get to high ground or take refuge in a hotel during a hurricane, but where do we go in the mind? Fear, doubt, confusion, anger, these are the winds of the mind and they can attack with hurricane force. Too bad we can't measure their velocity like we record wind. We can say they are pretty strong when we require medication or end up in the headlines for some bizarre behavior. Is there such a place as a refuge from a mind storm? We need to turn within to find out, you would think.

You can try this yourself right now. As you read this there is a knower that is like a background awareness that is witnessing your reading and thinking about this piece. You can't turn and see this knower like you would if you suddenly sensed someone looking over your shoulder. When you are very still you can sense there is two of you, a thinker with its story and a knower who knows you are thinking.

When a mind storm hits the coast of your self and sweeps you up in the winds of anxiety, the knower is the background or space that is prior to the storm, remains still during the storm, and is there undistsurbed after the storm leaves. Hurricanes have an eye and so does our mind. Without the eye the hurricane and the mind cannot exist. And yet the mind does not disturb the eye because the eye has no form. The eye is empty. So what is mind? Mind is form, thought form. Who is the knower of the mind? Pure consciousness, space, is the witness of the content of the mind. Without content there is no mind, but there is still the knower that says I AM.

Forms are impermanent, but the I AM is changeless. Thought is in time, but the I AM is timeless because it is prior to thought. Our I exists before thought and after thought is gone. When we die, thought goes, but not the I AM. Meditation is learning how to strengthen the I AM and weaken the storm. We should take refuge in that.

- Ed Conley

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