“Who is listening?”
…is the message that pops up on my phone randomly 7-9 times a day. When it does, I read it and watch my mind. When an answer or another thought comes up, I ask “to whom does this thought arise?” And I repeat the process, staying focused on the gaps between the thought, until they become bigger that the thoughts. Doing this many times per day has definitely helped me slowly but consistently move toward being present more often. The app I’m using is called Good Habit Maker. It’s free, and allows one to specify a single message that will pop up randomly on the screen however many times a day one wants.
I’ve had several times in my life when I managed to achieve an almost ego-less state. The longest was when I was first exposed to The Power of Now by Tolle. I had flirted with meditation before that, but I never really “got it” until that book. After reading it for the first time, I sat in my car in rush-hour traffic completely blissed-out and tranquil, ignoring the new MP3-playing stereo I had just bought, for probably a month. Overall I’m much more generally Zen than I used to be, but the curse of my mind/ego has crept back in through the back door, as it is want to do. The incredible stress of working to escape my house while dealing with a major breakup and dealing with parental aging issues has kicked the constant mental buzz into high gear over the past few years.
The only daily meditation I was getting was when I changed my “toilet-time is phone-time” to “toilet-time is meditation-time.” Recently I decided to try the Holosync binaural mediation aids, and am about 15 days into their program. It’s certainly relaxing, and I can feel my mental state shift when I listen to them, but I’m not sure if it’s helping me be more present or mindful the rest of the time. But recently I encountered Gary Weber, who claims to have been ego-free for about 20 years while maintaining a seemingly “normal” life, on the C-Realm Podcast, and decided to give his techniques a try. I’ve also downloaded his book Happiness Beyond Thought, and started reading it.