The Mind's Role in Meditation

In normal life, we’re taught to use the mind as a tool for doing and for resolving problems. Every single problem we encounter, we treat as a problem to be resolved by the mind.

Humanity has therefore grown to be obsessed by the mind. We identify with our minds — thinking that *it* is what we are, the Great Controller behind it all.

If what we are is the mind, if what we are is a problem solver, then we naturally come to treat life as a problem to be solved... Happiness, fulfillment, and death are all problems for which we try to find rational solutions. Through the mind.

But where does that take us? Into the realm of anxiety... Because the mind knows not how to approach these problems. They are too abstract, they are not rational.

In meditation, the role of the mind is demoted to that of a simple tool for observation. We use it as a sensory organ, a radar with which we feed our consciousness…

The mind therefore turns from doer to observer, and by stopping to use the mind as a problem solver we greatly increase its capacity as an observer.

The mind is taken out of the equation. We are no longer the mind — we are something above the mind: the consciousness behind it which we can't see or observe because, well, that's what we are.

This is the essence of no-mind. It is not about stopping the thoughts... It's about disengaging from the thoughts, stopping to use the mind as a great controller... And in doing so, stopping to identify as the mind.

I have a mind, but I am not my mind.

I use my mind as a tool, consciously and with purpose. That is the realization meditation brings.

When we stop identifying with the mind, we become free of problems... Because problems are something the mind creates. Problems become just one of the things, one of the thoughts we simply observe — consciously and with purpose.

Once we are free of problems this way, then life becomes something we can truly savour and enjoy... Without the necessity for a dichotomy between good and bad, right and wrong, like and dislike — all things that belong to the mind.

Thus opens the path to conscious freedom. I am no longer obsessed by unsolvable problems, and thus am truly free to follow my soul purpose in this life.