Tricking the mind1

When I run mile after mile, I meditate. When I don't feel like meditating, I sing in silence. I have lists of songs that I play on the double bass, cello, violin, Moroccan instrument, Chinese instrument and harp. There are about 40 songs altogether. While running I sing each song inwardly, only once. In this way, when I go out of the house I kill three or four birds at once.

This morning at 7:00 I went four miles. I sang very soulfully, in a prayerful way.

When I walk, my mind says, "Once upon a time, you used to walk at an 11 or 13-minute pace. Now you are walking at a 17 or 18-minute pace." So the mind brings discouragement. But then I play a trick on the mind. I say, "Yes, it is a 20-minute pace, but I am gaining in another way. I am meditating longer."

At home I have millions of problems to deal with. In these 20 minutes when I am walking, I am all by myself; so I am very happy. If I take three minutes more, who cares? Nature is helping me. With nature's beauty I am meditating. The mind brings discouragement, but then I tell my mind that for 20 minutes without interruption I am able to meditate. So the mind remains silent. We have to be super-smart when the mind wants to discourage us.

  1. RB 844. 20 May 1984