Perhaps you have heard this Zen story:
“Nan-in, a Japanese master, received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen. Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor’s cup full, and then kept on pouring.
The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. ‘It is overfull. No more will go in!’
‘Like this cup,’ Nan-in said, ‘you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?'”
It is difficult to completely empty our minds. I would suggest that peace, equanimity, “Zen” and other qualities we crave are products of a fluid mind…a mind that changes with ease and joy.
We often practice “static mind.” We cement our minds with stories – worries about what might happen, speculations about the demise of humanity, guilt about our participation in life, and more. We cling to these stories with a strange sense of security. We don’t like the stories; we feel badly when we rehearse them; but somehow we keep on telling them, like they might help someday….
The quality of your thoughts affects the quality of your experience. If you want a better experience for yourself and all beings, let go, become fluid, and change your mind.
The willingness to change your mind will open you to an Infinite Source that stands ready to amaze you with new possibilities.
You don’t have to beat your crowded mind into submission. You don’t have to force yourself to change or punish yourself if you don’t.
Just know that from this moment forward, your heightened awareness will provide you with many opportunities to practice. Be kind and gentle to yourself. And when something challenging happens; when you feel stuck or perplexed; when anything changes – change your mind.
Meditate – Center and focus on something that causes some discomfort. Say, “I change my mind.”
Practice – Throughout the day, notice discomforts as they arrive. Feel the mental energy you invest in resistance. Then practice changing your mind. Think a new thought.
Advanced Practice – Notice a persistent thought that creates stress in you. Try changing your mind and see what happens.