“You can’t cross the sea by merely standing on it and staring at the water.”
– Rabindranath Tagore

“The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient.  One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach – waiting for the gift from the sea.”
– Anne Morrow Lindebergh

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Zy Marquiez
March 28, 2019

The mind is a fascinating subject – it is capable of not only processing each bit of data which comes its way, but more importantly, it is able to experience the full totality of existence.

Therein lies the gem: the mind, knows no bounds.  An individual’s mind is capable to do anything and everything; it is capable of being centered or wander aimlessly; it can experience vast ranges of information, or able to handle one individual data stream; as such, where the mind goes, the individual will follow.  This is one of the vanguard reasons why the flood of information that modern day offers can be problematic.

By way of example, when my mind gets flooded with information, whether intentionally or unintentionally, it’s emblematic of being in quicksand – my mind is processing information, but I am getting nowhere, and fast. 

The best example of this took place when I first attempted playing online poker nigh two decades ago.  Traditionally, live poker is played on one table, and was for an extremely long time.  With the advent of technological advancements Poker was available for online play.  With that, a whole new method of playing poker – and all its iterations – was born.

My first attempt at online poker play was overwhelming in ever sense of the word.   In fact, it left me with a headache that lasted for days.  However, instead of playing two tables simultaneously, I fired up four tables.  That was a big mistake.  That doesn’t seem like a lot of tables but paying attention to 16 players is vastly different than paying attention to 36 players.  Two hours in, my brain was the very definition of overcooked.  All of this was due to the fact my mind was incredibly flooded with information.

As such, my mindwaves got the better of me, leaving me with a helpless feeling of drowning in my own mind.  Thankfully I was able to overcome that, but not without hardwork however.  A couple of months later, I was able to play 12 tables comfortably, and from there, I got up to 36 tables simultaneously during cash and tournament play.  What I describe is not something that only a select few can do, not at all, but it is something that requires work.

The point is that every mind is capable of learning, integrating, adapting, overcoming, and settling into a stronger default mode – every mindOne’s default mode – the baseline of an individual’s mind – is a byproduct of what you subject yourself too as well as the nature of the subject matter.  It is easier to have a stronger base line if your exposure to certain subjects is minimal.  The converse is unfortunately true.  This makes it crucial to be mindful of all the circumstances because they can be quite impactful one way or another.

What is an individual to do when their mind begins submitting to the waves of information that are ever present in modern day life?  On this, Shunryu Suzuki, author of Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, states:

“…do not try to stop your thinking.  Let it stop by itself.  If something comes into your mind, let it come in, and let it go out.  It will not stay long.  When you try to stop your thinking, it means you are bothered by it.  Do not be bothered by anything.  It appears as if something comes from outside your mind, but actually it is only the waves of your mind, and if you are not bothered by the waves, gradually they will become calmer and calmer.”[1]

It sounds overly simplistic, doesn’t it?  Keep in mind, eastern monks have been undertaking this very process for millennia.  It can seem daunting at first, but it is very attainable.  All it takes is commitment, perseverance and focus.

Please keep in mind that:

“A mind with waves in it is not a disturbed mind, but actually an amplified one.”[2]

The above goes to show the capacity of the mind referred to earlier and the ability of the mind to expand, to handle more, to be amplified.  

That said:

“It is impossible, however, to attain absolute calmness of our mind without any effort.  We must make some effort, but we must forget ourselves in the effort we make.  In this realm there is no subjectivity or objectivity.  Our mind is just calm, without even any awareness.  In this awareness, every effort and every idea and thought will vanish.  So it is necessary for us to encourage ourselves and to make an effort up to the last moment, when all effort disappears.  You should keep your mind on your breathing until you are not aware of your breathing.”[3]

A mindful approach will help the individual’s mindwaves settle and the mind to be centered.  This is incredibly noteworthy because according to a study conducted by the University of Southern California in 2013, the average individual in America goes through more than 13 hours of media daily.[4] That is a lot of media and nigh 2/3rd of an individual’s day spent on media.

Life, like the ocean, will always bring us endless waves of myriad types, it is in its nature.  If we do not consciously move against the tide, staying the course, the waves will carry us elsewhere – away from our destination.

Then and only then will we reach whatever goal we have.

Just like the mind can make came its own waves, it can also calm them.

The answer lies within.  As it always has, and always will.


Sources & Footnotes:

[1] Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, p. 22.
[2] Ibid., p. 24.
[3] Ibid., p. 26.
[4] Elizabeth Williams, Mary.  “Why Every Mind Needs Mindfulness.”  Time Special Edition – Mindfulness: The New Science Of Health And Happiness, 2017, p. 10.

Suggested Reading:

Mindfulness 101
Modern Missteps Meet Mindfulness

If you find value in this information, please share it.  This article is free and open source.  All individuals have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and  BreakawayIndividual.com

About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, inquirer, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, and freelance writer who aims at empowering individuals while also studying and regularly mirroring subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.