Always Well Within

Calm Your Mind, Ease Your Heart, Embrace Your Inner Wisdom

Dispersing the Clouds of Our Mind

Don’t you notice how our identity is so wedded to our thoughts and emotions?

But – for most of us – thoughts are simply well-worn habitual grooves.  And our moods are nothing more than the ebb and flow of our neurotransmitters.

Who are we really?

Our true essence is like the vast open sky and has the quality of radiant pure awareness.  It does not depend upon the brain nor does it fluctuate with the tide of neural transmission.  It’s always present, hidden behind the clouds of thoughts and emotions.

Pause.  Take a slow, deep breath.  Allow this meeting of outer and inner wind to slowly disperse the cumulus, stratus, cirrus, and nimbus formations in your mind.  Lightly watch your breath – this meeting of inner and outer wind.  When new cloud forms appear, let them be.  Simply bring your mind back to the breath.  Alert yet relaxed, rest for a moment in the vast blue space of your sky-like mind – awake, aware, ever-present.

Then, allow whatever peace, love, and compassion you have found to shine out and touch others.

*********

Thank you for reading.  If you liked this article, please share the link with others using the share buttons below.  Thanks so much for your support!  Warmest wishes, Sandra

image:  Public Domain Pictures (dot) net

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20 Comments

  1. Hi Sandra,
    I love how you describe our true essence. Pure, radiant awareness. But words can only point to it, isn’t this true — the only one way to really know this timeless essence of our own being is to be still and surrender and there it is. Our own eternal presence, indescribable but alive with wisdom and purpose and happiness.

  2. Absolutely, Christopher, words can only point to it. It’s beyond the conceptual mind. What I’ve learned is that stillness makes it far easier to recognize it and thus is a crucial foundation. But our pure awareness is always present whether there’s stillness or movement in the mind.

    Very beautifully said > “Our own eternal presence, indescribable but alive with wisdom and purpose and happiness.”

    And why we resonate!

  3. This is simply beautiful! And I will allow my compassion to touch others.

    • Tess, You always do! Allow your compassion to touch others. I’m practicing the art of writing succinctly. Following your advice from your Write to Done article! It will make me more flexible!

  4. Hi Sandra!

    I have just started with meditation but I feel that even with the right ambiance and mood (candles, soft music, etc), my mind still wanders off to other things like work and family and problems. Any tips you could give to help me stay on track? I’d really love to be able to just sit still and listen to myself and be able to find my true essence. I feel I deserve this after being so busy with deadlines in work the past months! Thanks

    • Hi Salinya,

      What a beautiful blog you’ve created! I’m inspired by your enthusiasm for mindfulness.

      Here are some suggestions about the challenges you are finding starting to meditate. When we first begin, it usually seems like we have more thoughts than ever. This isn’t necessarily the case. It just appears that way because we’re slowing down [a bit] and taking a look for the first time. Traditionally, it’s said that in the beginning thoughts will arrive on on top of another, uninterrupted. But gradually over time they will naturally calm down if we continue to practice regularly. So please don’t be disheartened if you find that your mind wanders off. The key is to simply bring your mind back to the object of your meditation [the breath, an image, a mantra are examples of objects that are commonly used] each time you notice that it’s wandered off. Those “oops” moments when you notice are important because they are a split second experience of our pure awareness. Patience is very important in meditation. We’ve cultivated the habit of thinking too much for an entire lifetime so it takes time to reverse the habit, but it’s definitely possible. I instruct a ten-week meditation course and find that participants generally have this experience of meeting their “busy” mind for the first few weeks but it gradually calms down and their experience of meditation is quite different at the end of 10 weeks.

      So I would like to encourage you to simply stay with it and continue and you will see changes over time. Some days our mind will be busier than others, that’s OK. The ultimate goal of meditation isn’t to get rid of all the thoughts and emotions. That would be impossible. The main point in meditation is to maintain our awareness whatever arises in the mind, whether mind is calm or busy. We just keep applying the method and coming back to the breath.

      It’s not easy to rest in our pure awareness. Mindfulness is the first practice in meditation that creates the foundation for insight to arise. If you continue with the practice of mindfulness over time, you will see a gradual change in your heart and mind. It can also help to read inspirational material like those you mention on your blog or follow a course where you have the support of an instructor or teacher and other students. You might enjoy the What Meditation Really Is Blog, which offers a free 10 part self-guided course.

      Hope this helps a bit. Good luck!

  5. I love your eloquent description of our true essence. To discover and know oneself beyond the ebb and flow of neurotransmitters is to know peace. It is a constant, loving essence not dependent on thoughts, moods, or neural transmissions. This place is available to everyone. To find it, just follow the breath. If I can find it, anyone can!

  6. Debbie,

    Lately, I’ve been fascinated by the impact that neural transmissions have on our moods and the fact that some of them are (dopamine and serotonin) are more directly influenced by the foods we eat. Thus, this mini-essay! I appreciate the confidence you exude. You are a great guide not just for those with brain damage, but for all of us.

  7. This reminds me of a poem shared at the meditation training I’m enjoying.

    Underneath the hardness there is fear
    Underneath the fear there is sadness
    In the sadness there is softness
    In the softness is the vast blue sky
    –unknown

    So true about those habitual thought grooves. I read recently that we think about 60,000 thoughts a day and that more than 80% of those thoughts are thoughts we have thought before. So much more liberating to go beyond those thinking habits. Thank you!

    • This is beautiful, Galen! A wonderful gift.

      Nothing like having the facts. Yikes, 80% are just repeat thoughts. Makes a good case for spaciousness, that’s for sure!

  8. Hi Sandra,
    The photos reeled me in..I love looking at the clouds..can look for moments or hours..and I Feel peace while clarity comes…
    Your words are beautiful and invoke peace as well..I find that from my well of peace *anything* may be created..learned…done..
    This is why I love watching the sky..it reflects so much to me! And, living on the boat, Wind surrounds me..sometimes gently, sometimes powerfully..and reminds me of my strengths and abilities..I am all that I See in the sky, I am all that I Feel in the wind..

    • Hi Joy,

      I really had fun putting those three photos together. I’d never done a trio before and felt it conveyed the progression from cloudy to clear!

      Your connection with the sky and the wind is so inspiring. I love the way anything can be created from your well of peace and how the sky reflects so much to you. You are so in tune!

  9. I have learnt so much the last few years about taking control over my inner dialogue.
    Since I have I have a cheerleader in my mind instead of a negative voice putting me down.

    This has really helped improve my confidence and motivation, it is incredible what a difference it makes 🙂

  10. Daniel,

    This is very beautifully said! Having an inner cheerleader is the way to go. I congratulate you on successfully banishing the negative inner voice and making leaps in your confidence and motivation. That IS incredible!

  11. Hi Sandra

    I so enjoyed the beautiful metaphor link between the clouds and our minds, our sense of identity. Thank you for this.

    Like Joy, I love watching the sky. There is something so soothing in it, so infinite – it is as if we have a mirror in the sky to remind us of our infinite, magnificent potential. And just as the clouds are all different types, and just as they come and go, so does the inner part – our thoughts, emotions, etc reflect that. It too comes and goes with the natural flow of life. Suffering happens when we try to attach ourselves to any one part, but just like trying to attach ourselves to a cloud is futile, so is trying to attach ourselves to our thoughts or sense of identity.

    • Evita,

      There’s so much wisdom in what you have said. It’s so simple in one way! This is gorgeous > “Suffering happens when we try to attach ourselves to any one part, but just like trying to attach ourselves to a cloud is futile, so is trying to attach ourselves to our thoughts or sense of identity.”

      The sky is one of my favorite metaphors. It’s easy to look up into the sky and be reminded at any moment of the day. Thanks for sharing your insight.

  12. This article was my main inspiration for writing my own short/sweet one (The Post LESS Challenge).
    I also thought about you while watching my Mom performing hulas. Thanks 🙂

  13. I love this idea, Mike! Your article is compelling. Hula is beautiful. I’m glad your Mom is enjoying it.

  14. Thank you Sandra. This is very helpful. I like the clouds imagery and metaphor. I will apply this today at different times in the midst of my busy day.

    • Hi Sean,

      I like the idea of using images during the day to remind ourselves. They are very powerful. Thank for this idea!

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