You’re not what you think

“The panic mounted, adrenalin shot through my system – my mouth became dry, but along with this, a voice sounded inside – inside what, I don’t know – an intimate voice asked very quietly, and rather jocularly, it seemed to me, considering how distraught I was, …”but whose minding the store?”  When I could finally focus on the question, I realized that although everything by which I knew myself was gone, still I was fully aware! Not only that, but this aware “I” was watching the entire drama, including the panic, with calm compassion…Now I need only to look within to that place where I Knew.”
Ram Dass, Be Here Now, 1971


Even before we got into cognitive psychology, there was Ram Dass – telling the story of how he mentally shed his identities one by one, until…..well…. what’s left when you no longer define yourself by your work, your interests, your skills, your relationship, your ethnicity, your financial status, your name – even your body?  What’s left when you no longer believe that these are who you ARE?  They’re just things you have or things you do.

How do you define yourself then?

And what happens when you discover that you’re not even your thoughts?  You HAVE thoughts, for sure, but you have THEM, they don’t have YOU.  You are the thinker, not the thought.

One of the people who attended the Kai Chi Do Retreat this month told us that the most valuable change she made during the weekend was loosening her attachment to thoughts that were tormenting her.   It was such a relief.

You are the still quiet awareness between the thoughts – what Eckhart Tolle calls “the gap”.   When you quiet your mind, you can loosen your grip on thoughts that hurt you, and remind yourself of who you really are.

And Kai Chi Do quiets your mind.

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