Shhh...Use Your Inside Voice

by Tracey Rich

Use your inside voice.  That's what we say to children to settle them down and have them become aware of their surroundings.  Shhh, use your inside voice.  By comparison, the mind can be like a child.  It can be unruly, wild, out of control and unaware of itself at times.  Just like a child the mind is endlessly in search of boundaries and distinctions, and is trying to navigate.  It can be relentlessly embroiled in emotions and selfish.  So what is this mind and how do we learn to trust it? 

Where does trust come from?  Is it instinctual or learned?  Where is your guidance system most directed from?  The head, or the heart? Whose voice do you most often rely on when making decisions?  And do you ever question those directives and where they come from--even when they seem to originate with you? 

Relying on your inside voice and diving down to that place where you feel clear and deeply connected is one of life's crucial necessities.  It is both instinctual and learned.  We use it everyday, whether aware of it or not.  Finding that place within can be like following the arc of the diver.  There is poise required.  There is one-pointed, undivided attention and yet awareness of everything.  There is the skill learned from experience and life's external feedback.  There is the honed practice born of trial and error.  And inherent in all of this, just as is mirrored in nature, there is no perfection.  There is only the moment to live in, the moment that teaches us and expresses through us, and the ability to resonate with our inside voice.

Trust comes from relying on self knowledge and understanding coupled with life's experience; the balance of listening with both the head and the heart and finding our most reliable navigation system.  In essence, meditation, which is part of all living, is your inside voice.  The meditation that is observation; the meditation that is perception.  The meditation that is a keen, active, and alert mind.  The meditation that is questioning external conditioning that has become internalized.  And the meditation that is a clear, still mind.  The meditation that is uncovered in an instant and always available.  

*for more insight into the mind and meditation,  download the CD, Meditation is Your Life, or read the chapter on meditation in Ganga White's book, Yoga Beyond Belief