Subtle Mind

All experiences that you have will be improved by this exercise, but it should be used with at least some commitment if its power is to be fathomed. For best results, 15 – 30 minutes a day is recommended. Prepare yourself for true delight as a whole new world opens to you.

The exercise will seem far too simple to support the above promise, but innocent and attentive use of it yields tremendous results. This exercise magnifies and brings faint and largely unnoticed images (and the emotions and other mental synergies that attend them) into your conscious daily experiences. In this realm on the fringe of consciousness can be found incredible proof of the immense underlying complexity of all that you presently call “me.”

Images, clear or faint, make up a large part of your mental life. This is more easily observed during your experiences that you have during the dreaming process, day dreaming process, or simply thinking with eyes closed. Eyes-open-thinking also has many experiences that, for lack of better adjectives, can be called images, but largely these are less observable against the background of the comparatively more intense input and processing of the visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory and gustatory aspects of normal, daily, mental experiences and the thoughts and emotions that they trigger.

The exercise: With eyes closed, describe ALOUD (preferably into a tape recorder or to a human listener) the images that you see with your “inner eye.” Full images, partial images, flickering or sustained, will come to/through your mind, and you should SPEAK ALOUD words that describe them. For the most part, the words you use should be adjectives or short phrases. To “kick off” the images, try asking a question to yourself and then let go. The faster you toss out the descriptions the better, and try to follow as many “side” images as possible. This is not an exercise in story telling. No sense must be made with the order of the images or the words you use to describe them. You are NOT directing your mind with any wishing for images of certain types.

By following these instructions, your ability to be attentive to the fainter aspects of the contents of consciousness will begin to grow. Once you have developed this ability, still fainter, presently unknown, aspects of consciousness become available. In this way, an ever-approached horizon of mental life will be involved in a process of discovery.

Ask yourself:

Why is this so much fun?

What would be the long-term benefits of practicing this technique?

Am I mining my deeper veins of thinking? Am I finding out more about how things are connected?

What kind of surprises do I get with this? Am I seeing images that startle me, scare me, and inspire me? Am I flabbergasted at the amount of creativity my mind constantly manifests?

Is my heart opening up with this method?

Do the questions I ask to start the images get answered? Are the images in any way symbolic of the answers I would ordinarily expect in words?