Soothing the Mind


Give the mind what it wants; it likes to have something to focus on. Minds like attachments and we don’t have to deprive them of this. We just need to give them the right ones so there isn’t so much anxiety.

Generally, we obsess over our mental/emotional attachments because we don’t know how to get what we want. However, there is a way to serve the mind its fix/supply of attachments without causing anxiety, frustration or grief. We can give it the right kind, the real one.

We are physically attached all the time to Earth via some surface we are on: a chair, couch, man-made floor, car-bus-train-airplane seat, bed, or ground itself. If you notice, we are absolutely attached at the hip, as they say. The force of gravity pulling us onto Earth is strong beyond our imagination. It is almost as if the surface is an extension of our skin. If we tried to peel ourself off, we’d see we just end up on another one. This gravitational attachment is part and parcel of our existence. Moreover, the furniture or earth under our skin is our sole support, our primary relationship, the partner with which we are most intimate. It eternally holds us up, touches us and secures our physical safety. We not only take it for granted, we’re not even aware it’s there!

This is our real attachment, our right attachment. So, list for yourself one, a few or a litany of desires (attachments) currently on your mind and then switch your attention to your real attachment. Exchange one for the other, word for word. This can satisfy your mind of its desire for attachment, while simultaneously providing it with the actual answer to its questions, “How will/can I get these things I need?”

Because this surface attachment is, in fact, an action (if you turn it into a sentence “I am sitting on the couch, writing in my notebook”), and the only action physically possible for any given moment (because we can’t divide ourself, be in two places at once or in the future before it is the future), it is part of the path to our goals. There is, of course, no guarantee that this action will lead to your particular interests (mental attachments), but that would just mean those were not supposed to occur. Since we can only act with our body (not our thoughts) and our body can only act in the present moment, this continual surface attachment (real action) is the only pathway to anything we are ever going to do.

So, no worries. We can not only soothe our mind of its need for attachment, but also solve its problems by giving it the right answer to its multitude of questions. Try it. Offer it word for word, attachment for attachment: money/couch, health/bed, relationship/floor, success/chair. We can train our mind to recognize the concept “attachment” and then substitute one type for the other. It’s easy because we’re always on a surface, our physical, intimate attachment. Just identify your most intense desires, painful longings and assign them each one representational word. Then, look down to see what surface you are on and make your sentence (everything you are doing on that surface). That action is the only real answer to all the problems in your life.

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