All hail the committee, that not-so-unified, loud, annoying collection of opinions and voices in our heads. You know, the committee. It seems to wake up before you. It goes to bed after you and if you didn’t know any better you might think the committee was actually you. Well, it is not. The committee is in part the result of a society built upon too much caffeine, sugar and online social networks! 100 years ago our ancestors took in the same amount of information in their entire lifetime as we now do in about a month. This means that practices such as meditation, which train us to find quiet and develop calmness and focus are now becoming mandatory practices for those who relish their very sanity. We need these practices more than ever.
For some people the chatter is louder than for others, like for people who are challenged by addictions (me, for example). There was a time in my life when that chatter was more powerful than me. It overwhelmed me. It was my master. Then about 7 years ago, I was turned on to a form of Yoga called Kundalini. The promise of all spiritual paths is transformation. With Kundalini Yoga, the transformation was quick, precise and thorough. I was about to discover the neutral mind. My life was about to get really, really good!
Within the powerful teachings of Kundalini Yoga, there lies an illuminating description of the 3 minds – negative, positive and neutral, which has relevance for anyone who has ever wished there was a way to turn off the committee and get to the heart of you. Say you have a decision to make like should you cross the street or not. The negative mind will show up saying things like, “are you sure you want to cross the street? There’s a lot of traffic and you might get hurt? What’s so special across that street anyway?” Meanwhile the positive mind kicks in. “Look over there. It’s amazing across that street. Let’s go over there. Doesn’t look dangerous to me. It’s an adventure. Let’s have at it.” You see, the negative mind, despite its name, is neither bad nor good. Rather, it is the part of your mind that tells you the reasons not to do something. It is the protective part of your mind. People who are too heavily in their negative mind are over-protected. They are risk-adverse and will miss some opportunities that life presents, but they rarely get too burned. The positive mind, on the other hand, is also neither good nor bad. It simply tells you the reasons to do something. It is the creative, adventurous part of your mind. People who are too heavily in their positive mind rarely miss opportunities because they see and are willing to take them on as they arise. These folks have very adventurous lives, but they have a hard time committing to a long-term process and because they are willing to take risks, will take a whooping from time to time. Then there’s the neutral mind, which we can only access by getting still and quiet. The neutral mind listens to the testimony of both the negative and positive minds and then from a centered place makes the decision which is always the right decision because it honors and bends toward the will of your highest Self – that part of you that has your Absolute best interests in mind.
When we are balanced in all three minds, we allow our inner calling to come through.
So ask yourself, do you have a decision to make today? Do you tend more toward the positive or negative mind? How about taking 3 minutes sitting still, closing your eyes, breathing deeply and allowing the input of both your positive and negative minds to come in without interference. Do not try to make an answer come, rather allow it to come. Be patient. Accessing your neutral mind is a new habit that requires you to build the skill of meditation and stillness. Once you act from the clarity of the neutral mind, you are immediately able to live in the full expression of YOU and to let go of the results of your actions. Enjoy your freedom.