Overcoming Anxiety with Knowledge of Your True Self
The modern world can seem like a very stressful place, especially now with all the fear about disease, sickness, and death. There is seemingly so much to do on a daily basis, just to keep yourself and your family healthy, happy, and secure. Modern technologies meant to make life easier often over complicate our lives. Each time you get a new gadget—smartphone, tablet, notebook, etc.—there is a learning curve to get it going and to maintain it. When you watch the news, there are disturbing stories that create additional fears and worries in your nervous system. The news media fails to report the many people in the world that are safe and sound, neither victims of crime, illness, nor natural disaster. Rather mass media focuses its attention mainly on tragedies. Politicians harp on the potential horrors if their opposition prevails and boast all the great and wonderful things to come, if you give them your vote. However, these future projections are often not founded on the facts or their ability to provide them.
All of these situations create anxiety as the mind becomes filled with the fears of present or future suffering. Even everyday communications with co-workers, family, and friends can turn unpleasant and stressful causing your mind to needlessly ruminate—endlessly replaying an interaction—even though it’s over and cannot be undone. Even though the names that someone calls you cannot break your bones, you still suffer needlessly when someone insults you.
It is very common to experience anxiety when you wake up in the morning with disturbing thoughts. Before you get out of bed, you can begin to repeat a mantra—as it breaks the habit of the ruminating thoughts. It’s like if you step on a thorn, you need a strong shoe to stop the prick. The mantra is like your protective shoe. You can keep dwelling on this positive thought and taking deep breaths until the anxious, disturbing thoughts pass. I repeat a maram hum, madhuram hum [ah-mah-rahm hum mah-dhoo-rahm hum], a Sanskrit mantra that means: I am immortal, I am blissful. Or you can repeat an English mantra: I am pure, free, and forever, or any mantra that uplifts you.
It may seem like you are repeating something you do not fully believe or understand, but that doesn’t matter. The point is to free your mind from the cycle of negative thoughts. These thoughts keep occurring even without your invitation or desire. Repetition of a mantra replaces them with more constructive and opposing thoughts. Just continue repeating the mantra, whether you feel it’s working or not. By repeating a mantra unhelpful thoughts are no longer entertained and given attention and eventually they disappear and the helpful thought prevails. You don’t need to change anything else in your life, just start meditating and repeating mantra and your life will change.
It is notable that the mind works without your conscious control. Even though you don’t want to think a certain thought, your mind decides to keep thinking it. You cannot always control the mind but you can focus on the one who is watching or knowing the mind. The Knower is not affected by the mind. You are that Knower. Once you become conscious or aware of the thought, by knowing that you are the Knower of the thought, you have the ability to change your thoughts so you are not confined to nor limited by the mind’s thought patterns.
When you focus on the Knower then you realize that your true nature and core essence is pure, free, and forever. In deep sleep, when the mind is not active, you are fine, even if you were troubled or pained in the waking state. Problematic thought patterns only seem to occur when the mind is active and you become their victim instead of remaining the knower of the thoughts. When you are the Knower you can watch the mind and watch the one who is watching the mind. Then, you are not affected by whatever thoughts are there—as if these thoughts were happening in someone else’s mind—you are uninvolved. Problematic thoughts have power over you when you identify with them and believe them. You have the strength, by knowing the Knower, not to believe these thoughts.
Thoughts keep changing, arising without your invitation, and then staying for some time before leaving. You, the Pure Space, never changes. Just as air can be a refreshing breeze or a hurricane force gale, it still exists as air, throughout, the same element in both manifestations. Whether your consciousness is still and calm or moves and becomes thought waves, it hasn’t changed from being consciousness. When you, the Knower, tune-in to this Pure Consciousness, that is the same whether moving or unmoving, you know that this Knower is who you truly are. Established as the Knower you can be free from destructive thinking!
By meditating on this awareness of Pure Consciousness, the Knower, the mind settles and you come to know this stillness and remain peaceful. That, which persists throughout and remains when all the thoughts have dissolved into space, is You, Self, Pure Being—free, and forever.
About the Author
Sherrie Wade, M.A., (Shree) Director of Transformation Meditation Online Institute has come to realize that the peaceful meditative state is our true nature. She has spent over 16 years training meditation teachers with her home-study courses. She speaks and writes with clarity and wisdom as to how one can unfold this awareness and transform one’s life. She is a certified meditation instructor, Himalayas, India, where she has spent over twenty years in self-inquiry and study. For more information, please visit her website: www.transformationmeditation.com