Friday, July 31, 2009

Self Portrait in a Convex Mirror


Direct your eye right inward, and you’ll find
A thousand regions in your mind
Yet undiscovered....

Henry David Thoreau

...I tend to meditate on the desire to do just about anything other than meditating...it’s easy to ascribe that to boredom...but, then, it seems unlikely I’d be a writer if I really found my thoughts so boring that I couldn’t stand sitting with them for half an hour...

We can as easily become a prisoner of so-called positive thinking as of negative thinking. It too can be confining, fragmented, inaccurate, illusory, self-serving, and wrong.
Jon Kabat-Zinn

...have said in the past that taking antidepressants without therapy...or otherwise deeply working on yourself...is like turning up the radio so you can’t hear the noise your engine’s making...

...now wonder if maybe most things we do, or own, or strive for, or tell ourselves, are simply an infinite variety of upward motions aimed at subtly manipulating internal volume knobs...ways to avoid the noise we know is there but don’t want to hear...

...not to mention the silence...

11 comments:

Lumen et Aperio said...

Usually I'm trying to drown out my superego. And I don't mean my "super" ego! ;-)

Brooks Hall said...

Dr. Jay, I'm a bit shocked by the synchronicity between your blog post and mine this afternoon!

Lydia said...

Funny that the word verification below is chopre.
But then I'm easily distracted -- very irksome while meditating -- and got off track from what I wanted to say. That being, you know how you have particular posts that are personal favorites and you wonder if they were crystal for your readers? This one should be one of those because crystal it is.

I'll key in chopre now...

Buddha said...

It sounds like you are flooring the acceleration and the brake at the same time while turning up the radio to mask the noise.
Take a decision, chooses a new direction or take a vacation!

Erik Donald France said...

I dig. Cognitive therapy to balance with yoga might do the trick. Maybe. But then there's still the horrible and the miserable to ponder, endlessly.

Isms and Ologies said...

Love the turning up the radio metaphor.

earthtoholly said...

This reminds me to seriously give meditation another shot. Long ago I read Shunryu Suzuki's Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind, which I really enjoyed. Concentrating on breaths and letting thoughts come and go without fighting them sound welcoming right now...and hard as hell to achieve. I should give it a go, though...just a few minutes a day, just to see if I at least have the discipline, something I sorely lack...

Thanks, drjay.

I think you're right about finding ways to "avoid the noise." I see it played out by others--family-- and myself. I guess most everyone manipulates the knobs to some degree.

Karin Bartimole said...

I agree with what I think you are saying. I know I have all sorts of noisiness and distractive thoughts that I use to avoid truly being still- and it makes no sense, since the rewards of pure silence within have been so great. During meditation, I experience the infinite manipulations I use as different doorways that I step through; each room another distraction, a pain here, a sound there, a to do list to do, but eventually I begin to move closer to a real quiet, as I run out of rooms! It's hard to put into words for me, but if I remain patient, I do tire of reaching for those knobs, and all sensations slowly begin to evaporate, and I begin a disintegration of self - while feeling an awareness of each cell within me, I feel like I am also nothing at all... it comes just beyond the point of "I'll never find quiet within."

Bird said...

"taking antidepressants without therapy...or otherwise deeply working on yourself...is like turning up the radio so you can’t hear the noise your engine’s making"

Oh yes, so true.

Tonya said...

Self-reflection and listening to your own thoughts can be one of the most difficult things to endure. I like what you said about taking anti-depressants without therapy, although I am guilty of it. I once went to a therapist and thought she was very unhelpful and full of shit, so I instead chose to air out my hidden demons via my blog. :)

Unrelated -- thank you for wishing me luck on the Bar and providing encouragement. It was thoughtful of you!

Rhiannon said...

I like this post. I think I might know what you mean.

Many use all the "multi-tasking and outter noise" of TV, computers, cell phones, endless chatter and being "addicted to busty"...in order to avoid the "inner voice" or "inner noise" or whatever you would like to call it.

In my "sitting in silence" times I like to walk down that long hallway of life and I get to chose which doors I feel "up" to opening and "looking into"..not always a pretty sight but best to continue on the path once in the room...facing it is usually a good thing "most" of the time..even if it doesn't fell that way "at the time".

I agree with you about taking anti-depressants without therapy. Some Drs. give it out like candy these days. Not the whole answer.

Blessings,

Rhi