Silence... It sounds so relaxing and peaceful, even romantic. But, do you really enjoy it? Sometimes when we sit in silence, our thoughts start to make so much noise, they even yell as if in desperate need of activity. Where does the mind go? To the past. The future. Our dreams. Our fantasies. It can go anywhere and easily stay there for long periods of time. It is not able, however, to stay still in the ‘now’, the present moment.
A meditation teacher will tell you that you have to start with the basics: close your eyes and take your attention to your breath. Let your mind absorb the feeling of every inhalation and exhalation. The mind will try to go somewhere else and that is OK. Just keep bringing your attention back to your breath.
This aspect of the mind teaches us a very deep lesson about its nature: it is extremely difficult to control. Yet when we realize this, we can begin observing and identifying where the mind is going and with practice, we can become witnesses of the inner conversations that our behavior and our environment stimulate in every moment.
By observing the flow of our thoughts we can realize how identified we are with them and how compulsive and primitive they can be. We can then begin to understand that we are not our thoughts. Our true identity resides in a deeper level of our mind or soul.