This article comes directly from one of my recent journal entries. It is about the mind, its tricks, what to do about it and how I am trying to break free and become unchained. The elephant and the peg is a useful analogy. I hope it helps you to deal with the shenanigans in your own mind, too.
You have a Problem Creating Machine inside of you.
Every single “problem” you have had. Every single “problem” you have. Every single “problem” you will have.
All of it is created by this machine.
This machine not only loves to create problems, it loves to talk about them, think about them, to put new spins on “problems” it has already created. This is so it can keep the “problems” (and therefore itself) alive.
Watch the Problem Creating Machine do its thing. Don’t think about what it’s doing – that is just more machine thinking about itself. Don’t judge. Silently observe. You will be free of all problems as soon as you stop getting involved with the machine.
Every time you use or get involved with the machine, you are plugging it in and giving it power. Every time you disengage and come back to your body and the moment in front of you, you are pulling out the plug.
The more often you can pull out the plug, the fewer times you are inclined to unconsciously plug it back in.
“I need to remember not to think about the machine.” = thinking about the machine.
“Don’t think about it” = thinking about it.
These are the final steps. Once you realise that you are at this stage, you are almost free. The last step is to simply divert your attention into the present moment.
It will feel extremely difficult to take this final step because you have been chained to this machine your entire life. Releasing the shackles feels unknown, strange and scary. You are also battling against the machine that is dying to keep itself (and therefore your problems) alive.
You have been like the circus elephant that has been chained to a small peg in the ground – only held there psychologically through conditioning. Break free from your peg by first, realising that you are being held hostage and can break free, and secondly by detaching completely from the machine inside of you. Then you will be free.
Every time you divert your attention from the machine, you get a little more used to it. You begin to realise how free you are when not held down by imaginary problems and fully immersed in the present moment.
Remember sunsets or other familiar joys that you experience in your life: was your mind ticking away there telling you to enjoy it or did you sort of just… enjoy it? This is a place of no mind and it is where all of the joy is to be found in life.
Keep going. Keep releasing the shackles each time that you realise you are in them again.
Very soon, you will look inside and realise that you are no longer shackled to this machine. That is when your life really begins.
Final note: the machine tends to be more active whenever you are more active in your stomach/heart/body. This one-two combo occurs almost every time. Be aware of it. Be aware that the machine is busy at work when you feel discomfort. It thinks that creating problems will solve the discomfort, when it obviously just creates more discomfort. Just be aware of it, don’t get angry at it (it is just a machine doing what this specific machine does) and if you can, smile.