What does mind power mean to you? Does it mean that your mind is always calm and clear like a bright sunny day? Or does it mean that you can direct your thoughts in ways that best serve your life, without getting caught up in the abundance of mental chatter? Maybe it means a bit of both. For me, achieving mind power means to develop mental discipline. While I believe there needs to be structure, too much structure can be stifling. There should be just enough so the mind can remain a wonderfully expansive servant of our heart and spirit and not the other way around.
If you need an example to get a better idea of this, think about the last time you thought yourself into a bad mood. Perhaps it was remembering something someone said to you that rubbed you the wrong way or something you or someone else did that you absolutely don’t agree with. It could have happened years ago.
Before you know it, your thoughts are so wrapped up in this wrong that you have lost time in what is going on around you. Worse yet, that mood can linger to the point where it colors hours or even your entire day in shades of gloom. Thoughts of what you could have said, revenge fantasies, sadness, regret, these are all very common and our minds will work through a past issue to the point of becoming ridiculous if we allow it. What we get from that is a loss of our own immediate wellbeing and peacefulness.
You see, this example, and in a variety of other ways, your mind thinks that it lives your life. If you stop thinking for a moment and look around, you will see that real life is what happens while you are locked away in the prison of your own mind. That is the opposite of mind power and is where mindfulness comes in as a very handy quality to develop. In actuality, mindfulness should be called something else because the very act of it helps you get outside of your mind.
Mindfulness is a practice in the art of balancing the inner and outer world in the here and now, and yes, it creates magnificent mind power. Maybe not to the point where you feel like a clear sunny day inside your head every moment of every day, and maybe you still allow some thoughts to carry you away. But you will notice clear skies in your mind much more often. Plus, sometimes getting lost in thought is an awesome adventure if it is enriching and nourishing instead of stressful or ineffective worrying. But the point is that you practice, and the mind power strengthens much like a muscle develops if you exercise it.
Practicing mindfulness is not difficult, but it seems shrouded in confusion. Most will immediately refer it to meditation and meditation does help a great deal, but it is not mindfulness. To get a sense of what mindfulness is, look around the space you are in. I mean REALLY look around to passively notice the smallest details. While you are doing this place your hands under your heart area (Similar to the Yoda image in this article) and feel what comes up. So, relaxed looking and feeling with no thinking.
Your mind might not stay quiet for long and that’s okay. Just return to no thinking when you realize it. Also, you might not feel anything at first, but keep with it, the feelings will come up. They may feel subtle and you might describe them as contentment, joy, peace, whole, calm, open, or you may have another feeling. When it does come up, while you are looking and not thinking, you will experience deep mindfulness and understand just a little of the mind power that can be developed through further practice.