17 Jun Don’t Quiet Your Mind. Quiet Your Thoughts So You Can Hear Your Mind.
From meditation to dreams, the vital health benefits of quieting our thoughts and exploring our mind have been well documented. Research supports the growing trend of including meditation in education. Schools worldwide have even gone as far as replacing detention and other traditionally punitive measures with breathing and meditation.
Though the conversation about how these practices are beneficial, there is little discussion around why these practices are so beneficial. And really, though the prompt is common, there’s very little discussion about what actually happens when we “turn off the mind.”
Turning off the mind. Nearly every beginner’s meditation lesson opens with “quieting the mind.” But what does that mean?
What is truly meant by quiet in the mind is silencing the thoughts.
In our daily lives we spend a lot of our time thinking. Thinking is our overt internal examination of our place in the world. Though our thoughts are formed and explored within ourselves, they are informed and tempered in their expression by conditions from without.
Thoughts are loud, and they often overwhelm the mind. In order to experience our mind, we must slow and quiet our thoughts to reach the deeper, more organic mind; to experience our inner world.
The inner life. Your thoughts are not your inner life.
What happens when you try to clear your mind? First, thoughts race. You remember an appointment or another commitment. A flash of your to-do list may come up. When you giggle a bit at a joke that flashes in your awareness, you’re getting closer. You may sense the scent of an old memory, and get carried away on a wave of forgotten emotion.
At this point, you’re beyond your thoughts.
Images, sensations, ideas all come together. Sometimes they make patterns, sometimes they don’t. In your early exploration you may struggle to resist the urge to allow your thoughts to come in and dictate explanations or patterns. And if you do resist this urge, something truly magical will happen.
You will come to experience your inner world.
While your thoughts can be shared, your inner life – your self – is personal and unique. Your thoughts can translate between your inner world and that of another, but that does not make your thoughts truly representative of the world that is formed within.
Fostering wellness in the minds of teens. Fostering a rich inner life is vital to your teen’s long-term mental wellness.
The task of fostering wellness in the minds of our teens has never been more apparent. We’ve reached epidemic levels of mental illness, depression, and even self-harm among today’s youth as a society.
The richness of one’s inner life depends on exploration. We must give our teens the same time to explore their imagination as we did when they were small children.
Our students leave with a strong sense of self and a healthy inner life.
Come see how we do it. Tour our school!