How to Clear Our Minds and Create Space in Meditation

Mindworks / Mindfulness Meditation Blog / Mind & Body Meditation How to Clear Our Minds and Create Space in Meditation
2017-12-16T12:10:25+00:00 By |

Habitual Behavior Leads to Copy and Paste Mentality

It is quite interesting that as human beings our mental behavior can be like a copy and paste mentality. When we’re not aware of the thought patterns in our minds, who we are and what we are can be defined by the way we habitually repeat mindless behaviors we’ve learned from birth until this moment.

What We Put into Our Minds Really Matters

We focus so much attention on the way we dress, speak and behave, but if we’re not mindful it’s just copying previous episodes of the whole journey of life. There are many people who parrot what others say, watch the same popular movies, or read the newest books. My personal understanding is that if we’re not careful we’re just habitually producing this copy and paste mentality. In that sense, it’s interesting that what we put into our minds really matters. We are all aware that what we eat and drink has a significant effect on our bodies, but this is even more true with our minds. Especially in our generation with so much technology—people are moving very fast and are subjected to much more stress than previous generations. So, it is even more important to practice meditation to clear the mind.

Information Overload Leads to Stress and Anxiety

It’s very simple from a psychological point of view. Let’s say that normal people have around 30 to 40 thousand thoughts each day. Every second that thoughts come into our minds, the more sensory input we have, our subconscious gets more and more loaded with information of all kinds. Especially in big bustling cities, the more we experience with our five senses, the more we observe with our eyes and ears, the more clutter gets inputted into our subconscious databases.

Then, we don’t have enough space in our databases—too much information is coming in too fast, not only from external perceptions, but also stimulated from Facebook and social media—way too much information for us to sort through and process in a calm, meaningful way. Rather than 30 to 40 thousand thoughts a day, now it’s multiplied—maybe it’s 50, 60 or 70 thousand thoughts coming in within 24 hours. No wonder people have so much stress and anxiety, which comes from so many overlapping and competing thoughts. With this kind of overload, we don’t have space in our minds for ourselves, let alone for others. It gets to the point we feel the whole thing doesn’t work and we feel the need to go to a psychologist or psychotherapist. That is why it’s so important to limit the information input and learn ways to meditate and clear our minds. So, the question is how to do that?

Importance of Psychological Space in Your Mind

This notion of psychological space is connected to compassion. Compassion requires some openness, which starts from psychological space. Imagine your whole psyche as a kind of pyramid shape—at the bottom is your subconscious and the top is your conscious room to maneuver. If you input too much information each day, the space at the top, the little space which is left is squeezed out. You will fill and overload that space with meaningless information. The result is that you don’t have space for yourself or others, which makes you become self-centered. In extreme cases this can become a psychological problem where someone can’t control themselves. By filling up that space our ability to recognize meaningful knowledge gets hindered simply due to lack of space. With an extreme lack of psychological space compounded with a lot of negative thoughts, this can create the potential for the terrible things people do in our society.

Meditation Clears Your Mind and Creates Mental Space

One of the best ways to clear your mind and create mental space is through meditation. If every morning you can meditate for ten or twenty minutes, you’re spending time just sitting there quietly. In that meditation session what happens in our minds? You could say that within that twenty minutes it creates an equivalent amount of space within the subconscious mind. That space will be beneficial to yourself as well as others. It is unlikely you will be disturbed by difficult psychological problems if you meditate properly every day. Every day, that twenty minutes of psychological space is mindfulness, that space is compassion for others, that space itself is wisdom. By creating this space we more become mindful and increase our capacity for compassion and wisdom. Even if we only increase this psychological space by twenty percent, that meditation for a clear mind is enough to dramatically affect our lives.

 

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About the Author:

Chogyal Rinpoche
Chogyal Rinpoche is a spiritual leader, meditation master and humanitarian who has dedicated his life to creating a better world. Born in Nepal, he began monastic training at age five, earned a Khenpo (Doctorate) degree and is currently working towards a psychology degree in Zurich. Rinpoche has founded numerous non-profit organizations including an orphanage, a music academy for underprivileged youth, a medical institute for earthquake victims and a home for HIV orphans.