This is a great video I just found where Benjamin Smythe talks about one way to approach the inner voice of “me” that thinks it’s in charge of everything.
0:33 “What would happen if you loved that voice?”
1:24 “And you even do this radical thing where you open your heart to it.”
2:29 “To hear the fear, and to hear the anger, and to hear the judgement, and to hear the criticism. And to hear it coming all from the very same source, this really scared separate me…”
3:32 “It’s mad because we sacrifice for love and approval which never actually comes from others.”
4:33 “So have the courage it takes to love something that is just totally terrified.”
5:33 “This voice is developed by culture, it’s developed by lying to yourself.”
6:10 “And if you can love that rage and that anger, it will subside and that voice will become a comedian.”
6:40 “And at first it might be hard to laugh, but over time it’s like you have a best friend with you and all they do is make you laugh…Pretending to be in charge.”
7:55 (The voice) “is totally terrified because it believes it is separate from everything.”
8:50 “You can absolutely do it, it just requires opening your heart to the last person you could imagine opening your heart to.”
Me – Not our natural inclination, but oh so powerful!
Me – And we can apply this to all voices internal and external that try to get the reactionary self activated :)
How does it happen?
Anytime there is a “me” there trying to be aware or trying to be silent, awareness and silence will be veiled. Anytime there is any kind of agenda for the “me,” the “me” is more than happy to jump into the conversation and offer it’s skilled advice or alternate solutions.
The key is to have the “me” quiet down just enough so the actuality of silence is realized.
There are a zillion and one techniques teachers suggest to help us quiet the mind, and thus recognize the awareness that we are.
One tip you hear many teachers recommend is to “get curious” about what is happening when negative feelings or emotions arise. They say by being curious, there is a subtle something happening that allows the feelings and sensations to just be as they are. And when we are just being, the “me” is silent.
But when I tell myself to be curious, it somehow activates the mind too much. Like I’m telling or commanding myself to ‘do’ something which then triggers “me” to respond or resist to the suggestion.
What seems to be helpful to me is when a feeling or a sensation appears, instead of telling myself to be curious, I simply ask “how does this _________happen?
“How does this tiredness happen?”
“How does this sadness happen?”
“How does this anger happen?”
“How does this tingly feeling in my stomach happen?”
When I ask this way, I do not get verbal responses. When I ask this way I get silent feedback. Then I am able to be more aware of what is happening instead of losing myself in mental dialogue.
This method also seems more of an ‘in-the-moment’ activity that has no secret agenda for the benefit of the “me.”
And when there is no agenda for the “me”, I do not find myself fifteen minutes later, lost in mental commentary :)
1:23 “A lot of suffering is mental narration. We all deal with physical pain the best we can…mental narration is the rest of it.
‘How am I telling the story about whats going on here?’
And in some ways, not to over-simplify it, but that just comes down to memory.
The one thing I can’t remember is THIS.”
1:11 “Don’t think too hard, just look for the thinker.”
Almost like a falling back impression. Sort of like watching an interactive virtual reality movie.
‘I’ am stationary while the camera moves about the place. Things appear on the video screen. Objects and forms are perceived by the camera lens.
Images appear. Sounds are heard.
Other odd things arise on this weird interactive movie screen…like sensations and thoughts.
I don’t know what will show up.
And even a nice sense of peace is there in the background as well. Nothing dramatic, just a subtle relaxation.
I will report back upon further investigation of this curious phenomena :)