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The Turbulent Mind




People who are not serious will not care about this.  The turbulent mind, the mind that is constantly reacting, constantly chattering (internally), constantly being agitated, is much different than a placid mind of true quietude.  A quiet mind is analogous to a small boat in the middle of a pond, with little haphazard movement, with its oars still and not disturbing the water.  Then, in such stillness, the surface of the water may be mirror-like, accurately reflecting everything.  Contrastingly, the constantly chattering mind, the agitated mind, is like a small boat — in the middle of a pond — that is endlessly rocking, rowing circuitously, and splashing.  Then, in such unending agitation, very little of the water’s surface reflects accurately; then there is a great deal of distortion; this is when a lot of twisting takes place; this is when a great deal of misrepresentation and misinterpretation can take place.  

I will not offer you (like so many of the charlatans do) concrete methods and techniques — meditative or otherwise — to make the mind still and quiet.  Any such concrete techniques (that you can practice) will only make your mind more mesmerized, more robotic and dull.   For many, the “I” or “me” can allegedly “make” the mind quiet.  However, the “I” and the “me” are protrusions of thought/thinking; any such “quietness” that they supposedly conjure up is inevitably an extension of a false and deceptive process.  One conditioned reaction cannot make other conditioned reactions quiet, at least not in any legitimate sense; one form of agitation cannot cause similar forms of agitation to be quiet by using “control” as a means to an end.  Only natural, simple, unpremeditated observing of what is going on (without dependence on antiquated patterns and suppositions) may — perhaps — allow an effortless, non-concocted quietness (beyond gross separation) to take place.  Deep intelligence perceives the whole.  Thought/thinking is primarily choppy, primarily fragmentary. 




First Butterfly — a Red Admiral — of the season; they were eating sap dripping down the Birch bark. … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2019




29 Comments Join the Conversation

  1. I have ADHD. There is no quieting of the mind for me. However, I’ve found mindfulness to at least take me to somewhere calm and serene when I need it.


    • Sorry about the ADHD. Labels, such as ADHD, are often limited; we must be careful with regard to pigeonholing ourselves. Conditions change and the mind, fortunately, is a very dynamic thing; the mind can change. 🙂
      Mindfulness, one feels, is fine, as long as it is not in a form that can be robotically practiced.


  2. Indeed, we must untether our tethered spirits to get to that placid mind of true quietude. 🙂 Otherwise, we drive ourselves crazy, at least I do! LOL :-/


  3. That quiet that just comes, is a real special moment. Thanks for the image of the Red Admiral butterfly, their markings are amazing in their detail and beauty.


    • It’s best, one feels, to not crave much for quietness; craving a lot for it makes it into a goal or end result. It’s not the end result of anything. Yes, it just comes, especially if one is not deceived by misconceptions about the nature of thinking.
      There are a lot of Red Admirals in the backyard by the river. I guess (around the water) they take their name seriously! 🙂


  4. I much prefer the quiet mind … that is my mind after a walk in nature (that I finally got today after a week of bad weather and ugly news reports). You need to just get away from the maddening crowd as they will bring you down. I also saw a Red-Admiral butterfly today – surprised me as our temps have been so cold and we’ve had all the rain. I am behind in Reader – my apologies and I was positive I had seen this post and responded. I’ve had a problem with my comments going to fellow blogger’s spam filters lately.


    • Yes, a quiet mind is essential for wholeness and undistorted perception. It was so nice to have a wonderful “un-windy” day, wasn’t it?! While swinging in the backyard by the river on our swing, we noticed a Red Admiral nearby, beautifully flexing its wings. I don’t know how they weather out the storms, but they do!
      Ah, you don’t have to apologize to me; the Red Admirals don’t have to either! 🙂


      • Yes, it was 2 mph hour wind yesterday – wonderful. I don’t how that Red Admiral here survived – two days of torrential rain and in the 40s and it had the plumpest body. It was darting around and at first glance I thought it was a baby bat. My boss left early today so I aim to finally get caught up here.

  5. Your description of the effects of being in a boat on the water with a calm or frenzied mind, perfect! I’ll remember that the next time I’m agitated. 🙂


  6. As you might imagine, I enjoyed your reflections on the pond and the boats. “Making a mind grow quiet” seems akin to trying to force ourselves to sleep. The harder we try, the less likely it is that sleep will come.


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