Who hasn’t experienced a sleepless night or wanting to take a nap and their mind wouldn’t shut up? The thinking mind can create hell for all of us from time to time. When we wish to truly relax and even be on vacation our mind bombards us with thoughts. Those wanting to relax and meditate find that the mind gives them no peace, and the more that they try to quiet or silence it the more frustrated they become.
We have very derogatory terms for this thinking mind that gives us no rest. We call it busy or monkey mind or wild horse mind or even jabbering mind. We expect a tremendous amount from this thinking mind and get very angry with it when it doesn’t come through for us. We may expect it to think clearly after a sleepless night or be more creative than it seems to have the capacity to be. We expect it to be ready and available at any minute and on call 24/7. When have we ever considered it as a respected part of us that deserves some consideration and appreciation? When have we honored and respected it for all that it has done for us and our culture? Where would we be without it? We would be like blob without it, and still in the Stone Age. Instead we blame it for what it doesn’t seem to be able to accomplish.
Let us imagine that the thinking mind is actually a being within each of us that is deserving of full recognition and respect, to be honored and appreciated for all its service. Let us imagine speaking to the thinking mind that has been disowned by us.
Genpo Roshi: Would you please allow me to speak to the Thinking Mind that has been disowned?
Thinking Mind: Yes I am the Thinking Mind and I have been disowned.
Genpo Roshi: Who has disowned you, and why?
Thinking Mind: The self, because the self finds me to be a nuisance and a pain in the behind.
Genpo Roshi : Why does the self find you to be such a bother?
Thinking Mind: He claims that I won’t allow him any real peace of mind, no rest when he is trying to nap, sleep or meditate. He also blames me for a lot of his problems, that I am not smart enough or sharp enough, that I don’t have more clarity. He just doesn’t appreciate me at all, I am afraid.
Genpo Roshi: Well let me ask you what do you do when he blames you for his problems?
Thinking Mind: I get even!!! I don’t allow him any real rest and relaxation, no real peace. I can be quite a pain in the ass, if you know what I mean. If he is always going to call me all those nasty names I will get my revenge. You know, the one I hate most is “Monkey Mind.” That one really irritates me. After all that I have done for him, he calls me a monkey. Who is the monkey? He is the monkey not me, he even looks like a monkey. When he was young some kids used to call him monkey and he hated it. Why does he then turn around and call me a name that he himself doesn’t like to be called?
I can come out in very covert ways too. I can be unclear when he wants me to be clear. I can come out as confusion or even befuddlement. I can come out as neurotic or even psychotic. I can also be very immature, whining all the time or wanting things to be different than the way they are. Never satisfied with what is! That’s one of my favorites, never being satisfied with the way things are. I always want what I don’t have, or I let him think that he wants things other than the way they are. I let him believe that the grass is always greener on the neighbor’s lawn. When he is in a relationship I make him think that another would be better and therefore don’t allow him be happy and content with what he has. Or I tell him that he wants someone that he can’t have. I bring him no peace whatsoever.
I will bitch at him constantly, whenever I feel like it, and he can’t stop me. I am in control, not him. He likes to think that he is, but the truth is he can’t control me. Just let him try, I show him who is the boss.
Because I have been disowned I can also think in very perverted ways. I don’t even want to say the kind of perverted thoughts that I can punish him with. It is sick! He would be ashamed if people knew the kinds of thought I can produce. I can get him into a lot of trouble. I can even make him think that I am him and he believes me. This is one of my favorites. I have him thinking that I am him, and then I make him do all kinds of stupid and ridiculous things, even awful things. You can just imagine what they could be.
I deserve a little goddamned respect from him, and unless he gives me the respect I deserve I will haunt him and ruin his life for him. He hasn’t shown me any mercy so why should I show him any? Maybe if he had more respect for me I would be willing to serve him better!
I don’t think I have ever realized just how angry and upset I am with him. In fact I don’t think that either he or I ever realized that I was capable of such emotion. We both thought that I was only capable of thinking, but now we see that I can have deep emotions too.
Genpo Roshi: This brings me to the question, what would it look like if the self owned, honored and respected you completely?
Thinking Mind: Well I guess I wouldn’t need to be so angry with him and I could work with him instead of against him. That is a novel thought. I don’t think I have ever considered that before, really working for him instead of driving him crazy. I think the conflict between him and me would cease and I could actually offer him peace of mind. When he wanted to sleep, nap or even meditate I could offer him stillness and quietness of mind. There wouldn’t be this power struggle between us, the conflict between us would be gone. No more war or fighting. He might even find what he has been seeking for such a long time, true happiness and joy.
I would be the greatest ally he has ever had. I could be at rest and poised, ready to do my job when necessary which is to think clearly and brilliantly when appropriate. His life would be altogether different if he would only own and honor me with deep appreciation for what I do for him. After all where would he, or for that matter the entire human race, be without me? Why has it taken so long for someone to ask to speak to me disowned? Why have human beings taken me so for granted for so very long ? I offer so much and just get blamed when I don’t perform up to their expectations. Don’t I deserve respect, love and to be heard? I am so appreciative that you have asked to speak to me, thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Genpo Roshi: You are so welcome! Would you now allow me to speak to the Thinking Mind owned and embodied, appreciated and honored?
Thinking Mind: Yes I am the Thinking Mind owned, embodied, honored and appreciated. Wow! This is amazing! I feel poised and ready for action. Quiet and peaceful. This is true peace and quiet, real silence. He has never known such a deep silence. Now I can really do my job, which is to think clearly and with precision. I can even offer him brilliance and true intelligence. What a difference it makes that I feel honored and respected by the self. I no longer feel the need to get his attention when he is trying to sleep, nap or meditate. I feel really heard and, more importantly, listened to. Now there isn’t any thing that we couldn’t tackle together. No job is too much for us. I bet he actually could have a true vacation now. I wouldn’t need to be hounding him to finish this or that. I actually love him now for honoring and appreciating me. I don’t feel that human beings have really given me my due respect ever before. Until now I have been treated like a slave, not as a human being.
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