Close your eyes for a second and listen to your own mind. You don’t need to be anywhere quiet. It can simply be where you are. There are two schools of thought involving meditative practices: the first says you need to be somewhere detached from the world; the second states that the world – our world – is specially configured to give us deeply personal responses on all levels.
You may be surprised to find your mind is full of words. Even worse, the chances are it’s chattering away to itself. We don’t expect to find words inside us like this. It’s not how we ‘think’ of ourselves.
But we’re full of words; most of them useless. Word-worms…
Usually, that chattering is actually narrating your present moment: you mustn’t forget to pick up the milk from the supermarket; your active dislike of that couple you had round for dinner; that stiffness in your thigh after the long walk on Sunday. Did you fall on it, or is it just age…
They’re all shouting for attention, these word-worms. All of them want your whole attention for their second in the spotlight while your body gets tense and you have to invoke an even more powerful script of words to calm yourself down.
Let’s not play their game of words. Instead, let’s trip them up in the middle of their usual writhing in our minds. Let’s create a ‘word master’, using their own technology, to deploy back at them.
The word ‘ONE’ : say it as though someone just opened the door to that garden in full bloom; or the park in midsummer, happy with the laughing of children.
Let it look like a circle of golden, fiery light in the blue sky, having the power to consume any worm word still writhing in your mind.
One of your more perceptive worms shouts in protest, ‘But it’s another word!’
And it is… but it’s a tool of the deep mind, not the superficial thought layer that thrives off eating your energy with tension, daydream and longing.
‘ONE’ – say it mentally (or even physically if you wish) watch how it stops every other word in your mind. Whenever another worm arises, say it to yourself, again. Keep doing it. Don’t let anything arise that isn’t ONE.
I first discovered the power of this driving the car while heading for a confrontational business meeting. I found over the next ten minutes that it didn’t do anything for my driving but enhance it. I arrived at my meeting clear-headed and full of creative ‘power’. That’s when I discovered for myself that there were two layers to my mind: Words and Awareness. The awareness had already absorbed how to drive. Once the worms were taken away, it carried on driving with calmness and equanimity.
Discover this for yourself. Start with something simple, then move on to the more critical activities. Assure yourself at each stage.
You may be walking, working or wondering. That’s okay. You don’t need to stop anything apart from the chatter of irrelevant worms. A few minutes of this and you may be eyebrow-raisingly shocked at how well your tasks are going. For some reason, you don’t need all those worms that regard themselves as irreplaceable.
After a while of this One-focussed silence, you’ll begin to feel a kind of peaceful golden glow… The image of the golden ‘One circle’ may take on a shine, one that radiates a gentle, peaceful feeling.
At this point your cleverer worm-words may begin, very quietly, telling you how remarkable this is, and, in, particular, how WELL you’re doing!
Have none of it. Whack it with ONE!
So what’s going on? Why is this working?
Next week, we’ll look at where all these word-worms come from, and why they have such power. By then, you might have experienced some answers of your own…
©Stephen Tanham 2022
Stephen Tanham is a Director of the Silent Eye, a journey through the forest of personality to the dawn of Being.