The observing mind notes our experiences without comment. If our thoughts have a peculiar tendency to wear misty decorations, there is a fat chance they will bring along dingy words accordingly. Well, I am here to tell you, you are of two minds. 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Fresh Mozzarella Cheese in Less than an Hour! According to the Buddha, our insights into these three characteristics of existence can lead to … They Become Your Words. The useful stories form a kind of map of who we are in the world. That we CAN do this does not mean we will. In a second column write down next to the thoughts, without analyzing. His wife was a nurse and had to get to the surgery suite early that day so he was responsible for getting his 6-year-old daughter and 18-month-old son up and ready to go. From there one can begin to develop the mind/brain in one’s preferred directions, but it is necessary to begin here.”. Thriveworks is currently working towards complete Accessibility of this website. In every second of every day, we have the choice to decide what we want to believe and send our builder. Observing Mind, Thinking Mind “Between stimulus and response there’s a space, in that space lies our power to choose our response, in our response lies our growth and our freedom.” Victor Frankl If I have the most valuable materials, then why is my dream home (life) such shit, or in such disarray, or not the exact way I want it? Whether you are doing meditation, mindfulness practices, therapy, or other personal development work, becoming the observer is a critical skill to learn in order to make personal changes. Just then his daughter rolled down the window and calmly said, “Daddy, if you’re late to work will they fire you?”, And then, “Daddy, if I’m late to school we’ll just tell them we had a flat tire.”, And then, “Daddy, tires get flat … you just fix them.”, It took a matter of moments for the little girl to do therapy on her daddy. Well, I am here to tell you, you are of two minds. Very often the thinking mind is acting out of old habits, some of which don’t serve us particularly well. We can’t force the mind to stop chattering but we can train it to fade into the background. Your observing mind was watching your thinking mind indulge in the yellow mango despite the instruction it was giving to not think of the yellow mango. The “observing mind” simply watches. There once was a young man who lived with his wife and two young children out in the country. It does not engage in judging, analyzing, story telling, etc. I thought to myself, “Ok, what kind of hocus pocus is this and yes, I will take the red pill.” Down the rabbit hole, I went. Your gut reaction to the emotion,e.g., run, hide, scream, stick out your tongue, etc. The instructor explained that at any given moment we have the power to choose our thoughts and use them to form who we want to be. Instant packages of oatmeal did not appeal to them. Etc, etc. Learning how your mind works is a valuable tool for developing your self. (She loves when I tell that story.). The mind has two overall general functions. Loading... Unsubscribe from Second Arrow? In modern times it is on overdrive, bombarded not only with the possible physical dangers when we drive or ride on the transit system for example but, also with the emotional dangers we feel in our interactions with the people in our lives. Disclosure: some of the links contained in this blog are affiliate links. For some of us like me, this isn’t an easy thing to do. But once I learned that I didn’t have to be this way, I was so relieved. Dynamic Thinking calls for observing your thought process whenever possible during the normal course of your daily life. This idea goes hand in hand with several other teachings, such as Eckhart Tolle’s idea of the mind as a tool on the one hand and the observer, the silent watcher or the true You, on the other hand. , Copyright Cookie\'s Table. It takes forever to find a way out. In my experience, one of the keys to personal development and ultimately self-understanding is observing how your mind works, what your heart feels and what your body experiences. With nurturance we can become better at it but our mind resists staying in this mode. These are often called, again very generally, the ‘thinking mind’ and the ‘observing mind’.”. In a third column, after observing the thoughts, write true or false based on. And he would be late to work regardless. I proceeded to take the children into the house and calmly fix the tire. Cookie information is stored in your browser and performs functions such as recognizing you when you return to our website and helping our team to understand which sections of the website you find most interesting and useful. 9 EASY Steps to THRIVING Instead of Just Surviving, In one column, write down the thoughts that went through your mind and the emotions as you felt them. Mindfulness builds the power of the “observing mind” as one practices simply watching. It’s a habit. The Thinking Mind is always producing thoughts and if we aren’t accustomed to using our Observing Mind, then we get ourselves lost in our Thinking Mind. Anthony Centore Ph.D. is Founder and CEO at Thriveworks--a counseling practice, focused on premium client care, with 80+ locations across the USA. The mind generates thoughts, judgments, analyses, feelings and perceptions of the five senses. We observe ourselves thinking a certain way rather than just plain thinking that way. Who are you? Observing Ideas thinking about mind, consciousness, ethics and the world in general and in fundamental. When we attend to the mind, we are concerned with the thinking process and the intellectual understanding that derives from knowledge, and with our … So how do we stop sending random materials to the builder or undo what is already built? A: Yes, of course. Any advice on a telltale difference? Who was it talking to? 2.1 ). If not, then choose to believe differently. © 2020 Thriveworks Counseling | Privacy Policy & Terms of UseThriveworks is currently working towards complete Accessibility of this website. Some are philosophical (i.e., the problem of evil). It becomes fearful. Life unfolding here and now in the body, in … We can then introduce the Observing Self through the previous Physical and Thinking Self exercises. What she meant is that we don’t have to identify with our thoughts. The only time the mind can have a real rest is when it stops thinking and only experiences. It’s been a common concept in Buddhism for centuries, and new western therapies such as Acceptance-Commitment Therapy (ACT), are catching on to how useful it is and how it can solve a lot of our every day emotional problems. Our Thinking Mind is analyzing everything around us to ensure our survival. Is the attached belief one that serves me? As we go throughout our day it chooses what to send the builder or not send to the builder based on our emotions and beliefs. Um…WHAT, “Yes, I am, ‘I think therefore I am.” (René Descartes). The Thinking Mind is sending random materials (beliefs) to the Observing Mind based on a belief we hold related to, conversations, something we read, an argument with a spouse, what our parents say to and about us, etc. Simply observing the mind. Simply observing the mind. The Thinking Mind is the processor of information, the one that babbles away while we are waiting in a doctor’s office or even more irritating when you are trying to go to sleep. I think meditation is very helpful in accomplishing this. “Hurry up! Q: Is observing your thoughts a thought? Although feelings and emotions are not always a  choice, identifying with them (believing they are true) is a choice. Dynamic Thinking, which is basically thinking about thinking, evolves out of Attention Thinking (see my article Attention Thinking: Controlling the Mind). The little girl would go to her first grade class in the nearby town. Is there anything we experience that is not impermanent? This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. In this Podcast, spiritual teacher and author, Gautam Sachdeva, talks about the difference between the Thinking Mind and the Working Mind. Observing your thinking Mind Map 1. Now it seems there is an uptick of mind activity, which is really my awareness of this process. This observing presence is the observing self, the one that notices what you’re thinking or feeling. The first thing we need to realize is that if the Thinking Mind is a car then we don’t have full control of the vehicle. The other interesting thing that happens is now that you are aware of certain thoughts and emotions, you begin to recognize them instantly in yourself and in others. Problems arise when we identify with our thoughts and feelings and forget – or never discover – our real selves and the peace of simply being. Once verbalization stops for a moment, not only is … Thinking about Thinking: An Introduction to Observing your own mind: Veitch, Herman, Haarhoff, Dorian, Haarhoff, Anne: 9781973582588: Books - Amazon.ca But, as he pulled out of the garage into the rain, he quickly noticed that the right front tire was flat! If you disable this cookie, we will not be able to save your preferences. This means I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase at no additional cost to you of course. It is simply aware. And by the time it was all done, as well as it was going to be done, and the children were safely secured in their car seats in their brand new (but used) Dodge Caravan, which he in his great wisdom had purchased without his wife’s input. Western psychology therapies such as Acceptance-Commitment Therapy (ACT) are only recently beginning to see how powerful this concept can be. "In Pali, heart and mind are one word (citta), but in English we have to differentiate between the two to make the meaning clear. I walk down the same street. It builds any size and type of home you want using the materials provided to it by the Thinking mind. I was wrong. The former we know quite well and live in it more often than not. Mindfulness to naturally arising thoughts, feelings, and sensations works like exposure gradually helping you overcome the grip of certain thoughts, feelings, and sensations. The morning was not going according to plan. It is similar to when you buy a white car and all of a sudden there are white cars everywhere. We have to rein the monkey in. The observing self can view all of these. Consciousness, at its simplest, is "sentience or awareness of internal or external existence". But thinking before we speak and act requires the development of the ability to pause between stimulus and action. Meditation lays a foundation for our practice. However, in that moment you made an unconscious choice to send the building material “I am a failure”, to the builder (Unconscious mind) to build your dream home. It really is a different state of mind. Your Observing Self can be likened to the sky, with your thoughts and feelings being like the weather. Often times we blend the two together losing our balance. Self-Observation: The Thinker Behind the Thought. Required fields are marked *. You might say, “I am the one listening.”, and you would be right. Get a piece of paper and: After completing this challenge myself and consciously practicing to pay attention to my thoughts and choosing what to believe, the constant chatter and slavery of attachment to every thought and attached emotion dissipated. The not-self mind trickes itself into thinking its separate. You turn it into your boss and they love it, except they want you to change a few things and add a few other items. He put the van into park, jumped out of the minivan, kicked the tire, and shouted a few inappropriate words. The emotions you feel can be with the same intensity as if a bear just came into view and licked its lips. by Anthony Centore | Sep 9, 2014 | Counseling Blog, Empowerment, Family, Happiness, Marriage, Mindfulness | 0 comments, Between stimulus and response there’s a space, in that space lies our power to choose our response, in our response lies our growth and our freedom.” — Victor Frankl. The Observing Mind is the experiencer of the thoughts and emotions. Thinking about Thinking: An Introduction to Observing your own mind eBook: Veitch, Herman, Haarhoff, Dorian, Haarhoff, Anne: Amazon.ca: Kindle Store What I am talking about is the Observing Mind and the Thinking Mind. I can’t believe I am in the same place. I still fall in. The lightbulb moment for me was when I was attending a class and the instructor said, “You are not your thoughts”. Check out “Leaving Depression Behind: An Interactive, Choose Your Path Book” written by AJ Centore and Taylor Bennett. A Meditation on Observing Thoughts. You say to yourself, “I am a failure”. The benefits are numerous emotionally, psychologically, and physiologically. So without further ado below are 5 ways to build the observing mind. "In Pali, heart and mind are one word (citta), but in English we have to differentiate between the two to make the meaning clear. It looks for things that might harm us and turns on our flight or fight instinct. Once verbalization stops for a moment, not only is there quiet but there is a feeling of contentment. The one he initially chose was an impulse based in fear/anger. Somedays my Thinking Mind goes a mile a minute in all directions at once until sometime around 9:00 pm it starts to short circuit and I realize I need to sleep. So, they struggled and he got angrier and angrier. We are using cookies to give you the best experience on our website. Not that long ago Sergio Graziosi wrote two guest posts for Conscious Entities blog. All rights reserved. The Unconscious (Thinking Mind) constantly communicates with the Conscious mind (Observing Mind) via our Subconscious and is what provides us with the meaning to all our interactions with the world, as filtered through your beliefs and habits. It is my fault. You double and triple checked it. The Thinking Mind and the Observing Mind. My eyes are open. The observing mind is our parent, our care taker - making sure the thinking mind stays balanced with the observing mind. However, sometimes I’m unsure if lost in thought or simply observing the discriminating mind. Meditation lays a foundation for our practice. Practising mindfulness involves switching into “observing mind” mode. Binge drinking is dropping significantly among college students in states where marijuana is legalized, When friends have different political views—How to talk politics with people you disagree with, Wife appreciation: 5 easy ways to spoil your spouse and show them how much you care, Counselor Turnover in Counseling Practice. I’m not saying that you have two different thoughts on a subject. (Do not act on the thoughts or emotions if possible.). You can find out more about which cookies we are using or switch them off in settings. For some reason the pony-tails (a mystery to our hero) would not line up just right and red and purple, at least these shades, did not match. Shrinking thought down to a single word is the preliminary effort. Meditation is a time for nothingness. He mentions that the Thinking Mind is the same as the Egoic mind, the mind with its tendency to go into the past or the future. ", Your email address will not be published. Not that the dad cared that much whether the pony-tails were perfect or that the clothes matched but he knew that his wife would. The toddler would go to his sitter’s home in a town some 30 minutes away in the other direction while the man then went to work in the same town as he lived. In Zen they refer to this as the “Thinking Mind” and the “Observing Mind.” The two minds. Mind Control: How To Discipline Your Thoughts 1. We are wired this way to help us survive. Our cave man ancestors used it all the time to protect themselves from wild animals or when a neighboring tribe decided to come fight us for the woolly mammoth our clan killed earlier in the day. Get your teeth brushed! The mind has become so fragmented that it becomes our worst enemy . However, when we are interacting with our boss and they provide us with criticism and we feel negative emotions and our mind starts going into the flight or fight mode depending on how strong you feel the emotions attached to the interaction. As we know, 10 people can see the same accident and each has their own “truth” about what happened and will debate it to the death. Observing the mind, I believe, is a learned process that needs to be developed. Practicing in any form, secular or religious, leads to the same neurological results. I get out immediately. But your mind already knew it was beautiful, so why did you say it? I propose a challenge. It does not engage in judging, analyzing, story telling, etc. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. By Ron Esposito - March 2010. A 6-year-old child short-circuited it for heaven’s sake. Believe me, I didn’t realize I was doing this either, and when I found out, it was one of those lightbulb moments, and that is why I am sharing this information with you. Let’s imagine you just completed a huge and involved project at work. We search out the items, pick them up, inspect them, and imagine what it will look like in our new house. The key is too not identify with the thoughts. Portia Nelson explains it best in her book, There is a hole in my sidewalk – The romance to self-discovery. So how do you choose the most valuable materials to send the builder? When we attend to the mind, we are concerned with the thinking process and the intellectual understanding that derives from knowledge, and with our ability to … I am lost… I am helpless. This is the same for emotions, such as anxiety and stress, and it is where a lot of suffering comes from. It still takes me a long time to get out. They all qualify as thoughts. Life unfolding here and now in the body, in … The next time you say “I am” or realize you have a strong emotion about something, ask yourself is it useful to me? Some are religious (e.g., we are “sinful” people or it was the result of a demonic being). “I walk down the street. Awareness of Thoughts Meditation - Take at minimum 5 minutes per day to practice observing thoughts come and go as part of a formal meditation exercise. They are going to happen no matter how many positive quotes you read or mantras you say. It communicates through feelings, emotions, imagination, sensations, and dreams. In Zen, they commonly refer to the “Thinking Mind” and the “Observing Mind”. You might be saying, “Wait a minute here, I have one brain, I am just me.” And I would tell you that you are right, you do have one brain, you are you, but you have two minds. Strictly Necessary Cookies should be enabled at all times so that we can save your preferences for cookie settings. It isn’t that they just magically appeared, it is that you are more aware of them. The Buddha likened this thinking mind to a monkey that jumps from branch to branch. His words were not entirely inappropriate for children but his tone made up for that. Any movement of the mind, whether ideas, impressions, emotions, or sensations observed, are fluctuations of the mind. When we walk down a dark alley and the Thinking Mind senses that something isn’t right. Who am I? I know where I am. There are a variety of theories used to explain this phenomenon, ranging from the ridiculous to the sublime. Unfortunately, negative thoughts are part of being a human. For one, there is ability to step back, pause, and consider the consequences of one’s behavior before acting. Observing Ideas thinking about mind, consciousness, ethics and the world in general and in fundamental. I am not stupid; are you calling me stupid?” No, no, no, I am not calling you stupid. The “thinking mind” judges, analyzes, reasons, constructs scenarios, tells stories, and attempts to make sense out of things. This website uses cookies so that we can provide you with the best user experience possible. When that happens, then we instantly start to feel calmer, more energized and clearer in the head. Home » Counseling News » Empowerment » Mindfulness Counselor’s Thoughts on the Observing Mind, Thinking Mind. Let me explain. It got later and later. This ability will serve you well in many different situation. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. Observing transience or impermanence (anicca) is one of the ways in which the Buddha asks us to investigate ourselves. So why not choose the truth that serves you. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. The thinking mind is the one that generates opinions, memories and so on. The “thinking mind” is our default mode. You walk to the edge of the water and look out over the expanse of the sea and declare, “Wow what a beautiful place”. Today, as far as he was concerned, he would go very casually. Menu. Imagine the Observing Mind is a magnificent dream-home builder with unlimited skills. Just one measly hour, it shouldn’t be hard right? But the unhelpful stories are those that our Thinking Self generates that lead us to feel badly about ourselves. The Unconscious (Thinking Mind) constantly communicates with the Conscious mind (Observing Mind) via our Subconscious and is what provides us with the meaning to all our interactions with the world, as filtered through your beliefs and habits. Observing this process can give you great insight into how your mind works and leads to much better mental control as you take conscious control of the thoughts in your mind. While the thinking mind produces all the thoughts in your head, the observing mind is responsible for the feeling of being “You” as it watches the thoughts in your head. We don’t have to act on it or react to it. I challenge you to pay attention to what you are thinking and feeling for just one hour. Anthony is a multistate Licensed Professional Counselor and has been quoted in national media sources including The Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, and CBS Sunday Morning. Recently I’ve become acutely aware of the discriminating mind process while meditating. (more…) Posted in Mind and tagged free energy, mind on February 15, 2015 by Conundrum. Most of our emotional and psychological stress is because our Thinking Mind and Observing Mind are “superglued together” and we don’t recognize it. Of course not, but saying “I am” it gets the attention of the Builder who then adds whatever comes after “I am” to your dream home. If, however, the matter before you is more complex, such as the one above, perhaps a more subtle response would be in order. For the purpose of this article, I am going to use the Thinking Mind and Observing Mind. Who were you just talking to? Your question is a good example of what is happening at any moment - while awake or dreaming: it is made up of a thought in the mind which will be followed by another thought and then another. According to Zen, we have two minds, the Observing Mind, and the Thinking Mind. I walk around it. At this stage the meditator has to keep pulling the attention out of wandering and into observing. Our words are a pure reflection of our mind. The other two avenues of investigation are observing dissatisfaction (dukkha) and not-self (anatta). This observing presence is the observing self, the one that notices what you’re thinking or feeling. But, it isn’t my fault. Negative emotions are potent and sometimes the harder you fight them the more powerful they become. Meditation is a time for nothingness. You wake up early and go alone to the beach. However, most of us don’t realize that we are building our dream home out of randomly chosen materials based on the emotions we feel and subsequent beliefs. About; Complex Mind Theory; Search for: Mind Why Sergio’s computationalism is not enough. Or simply observing the mind and the more that each of us me... Save your preferences espouse, there is ability to pause between stimulus and action one emotion does not in... Jumps from branch to branch quite well and live in it more often not. Of oatmeal did not appeal to them thinking mind and observing mind of the discriminating mind while! 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Garage into the house and calmly fix the tire, and the “ Thinking mind can have a chance becoming. ” mode Thriveworks Counseling | Privacy Policy & Terms of UseThriveworks is currently working complete! Control: how to Discipline your thoughts and feelings being like the weather February 15, 2015 Conundrum. “ sinful ” people or it was the result of a demonic being.... Now it seems there is a wonderful exercise to watch the mind to a single word is the observing,! Aaaargh! ” he stomped and fussed and grimaced one practices simply watching sometimes I ’ m unsure if in! Said, “ I am the one that notices what you ’ re or. Impulse based in fear/anger us many different stories about ourselves that your Thinking has. A number one theory of the ways in which the Buddha, our insights these! Is listening us thinking mind and observing mind ensure our survival a class and the Thinking mind is in bombarded with an ungodly of... 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Through and make a purchase at no additional cost to you, you are observing the mind. In thought or simply observing the discriminating mind process while meditating we Search out the items, them! Is `` sentience or awareness of this article, I am a failure ” Buddha this! Reaction to the beach Nelson explains it best in her Book, there is a of... Girl would go very casually theories used to explain this phenomenon, ranging from the continuity of living from. We don ’ t represent the whole of who we are using cookies to give you the best experience! Learned process that needs to be separate from the continuity of living, day! ) is saying this is a magnificent dream-home builder with unlimited skills, but it is to. Observing '' mind second Arrow oatmeal did not appeal to them an Interactive, your... Size and type of home you want using the materials provided to by..., in … Thinking and only experiences Counseling | Privacy Policy & of. Be able to save your preferences for cookie settings us many different situation two avenues of investigation observing!