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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Mind Exercise for the Subway

The brain is the most complex piece of machinery on the planet. It is our gift to use as we wish. And how do we use it a great deal of the time? We just let it wander around in a daze of routine thoughts that lead nowhere. Think about it. When we are not engaged in some project, or conversation with someone; when we are driving to work, taking the subway, lazing about at home, what are our thoughts?

Since I am prone to get hit by depression fairly frequently, I started thinking that it's usually when I just wake up or when I'm not engaged in any productive activity. Even when I do booksignings there are minutes when I am not engaged, and my mind can wander. Shouldn't I be more respectful of my brain and make an attempt to think more than just stupid, meaningless thoughts? Or even worse, negative and downer thoughts that can lead to depression

I suppose we could drive ourselves crazy trying to take advantage of every waking moment to think something productive, but maybe we could just bump it up a little. For instance I was sitting in the subway and remembered that I had been kind of curious about what I was thinking when I wasn't really thinking. I found myself making internal comments about the people around me. How they looked, what they wore. I wondered if I couldn't think something more positive about my traveling companions than pasing judgment on their attractiveness or lack thereof.

How does one really make an investment in one's fellow man, I thought. Can you try to think well of them. Would it work?

I just decided to think about wishing them well, all these people in my subway car. Hoping that they did well in whatever they were pursuing, hoping their hurts were not too bad. Hey, maybe I could send a silent healing to them. It certainly couldn't hurt, and it had to be a better use of my brain that the dumb thoughts I had been thinking up to now.

So I tried it, sending out little silent messages of hope, health, better times ahead. I don't know if anyone else felt any healing, felt any better. But the funny truth of it was that after a few minutes of this, I sure felt pretty good instead of stale and unconnected. I really did feel like a more loving and caring person. Maybe the mind is as powerful as the old wise men have tried to tell us. We shouldn't just waste it on useless thoughts. A. B. Curtiss

1 comment:


Thanks for posting this. I really enjoy reading your blog! :)