You Are More Than Your Thoughts – Part II

your mind is not you

your mind is not all of you

     Every action began as a seed of a thought in our minds. Beyond that seed, was there another source from where the seed came? If we can tap into that seed, the essence of our being, deep in our hearts of who we are and how we can be our truest potential, and be in tune with what the universe intends for us, life can become more an effortless stream. One we can more easily swim with the current and not merely float around aimlessly or worse, get thrown about like inside the drum of a washing machine. Our world has become increasingly more distracting to look inside ourselves. Lights flashing everywhere, tv shows capturing everyone’s attention, and the latest gadgets supposedly making our lives easier or better. When we can close our eyes, and listen to our breath – to sit in meditation – we can begin to listen to our deepest thoughts and beyond that, feel into our body. This is the yoga practice of pratyahara (sense withdrawal,) dharana (concentration) and dyana (meditation) not often practiced in modern western yoga classes.


treebranchesIt is the fine-tuning of this process, weeding out the thoughts, the noises in our head, which is oft times clouded by voices outside ourselves – thanks to the modernization of society – that we can learn to quiet our minds. When we can pitch our tuning forks to the vibration of the world – the universe –  our lives become a “seamless struggle.” Wherever there is conflict in our minds, it has to do with how we’ve framed those thoughts – what lead to the preconceived notions, or expectations of how a particular situation or person should be or need to behave. When we are able to take/accept things at face value – as is – that life becomes less of a conflict.  By labeling a situation or statement or event as a conflict we are only resisting those things as they are. As Dan Millman writes “no need to resist life.” It is when we keep fighting and resisting what is that life becomes problematic. When we are able to connect with that divine source that is within each of us, we are able to live our truest potential.  It is the main reason why I practice yoga – to get a little closer to being my most authentic self and the divine within.

In the Buddhist concept of the Four Noble Truths, while life is recognized as suffering, there is a way of being that lessens the suffering. Thankfully, we don’t need to be reborn in our next lives as a German Sheppard or a monk…oh wait. Right, the purpose of a Buddhist life is to NOT be reborn! Well, in the mean time, perhaps we can learn to disassociate from our thoughts, to be an observer of the monkey mind that jumps around everywhere minding everyone’s business, and to let each one go. Or even to take a moment to challenge our thoughts and beliefts, to examine where they all came from? We are after all, so much more than mere thoughts.  Thinkers of the older world presented this in different ways.  Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, a French Jesuit priest wrote in 1955, “ We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.” Going just a little farther back Chuang Tzu, the Taoist philosopher wrote, “Now I do not know whether I was then a man  dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man.”  So what are you thinking now?

Great Spangled Fritillary on a Zinnia


“If you don’t get what you want, you suffer; if you get what you don’t want, you suffer; even when you get exactly what you want, you still suffer because you can’t hold onto it forever.  Your mind is your predicament.  It wants to be free of change, free of pain, free of the obligations of life and death.  But change is a law, and no amount of pretending will alter that reality”

― Dan Millman, Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives



About Magi Khoo

Yogi Freedom Fighter. Magi teaches yoga in San Francisco with a flair of humor, grounding, breath, mindfulness, strengthening and balancing it all together in one simple om.

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