Recovery & The Three Minds

All hail the committee, that not-so-unified, loud, annoying collection of opinions and voices in our heads.  You know, the committee.  It seems to wake up before you.  It goes to bed after you and, if you didn’t know any better, you might think the committee was actually you.  Well, it is not. The committee is in part the result of a society built upon too much caffeine, sugar and online social networks!  100 years ago our ancestors took in the same amount of information in their entire lifetime as we now do in about a month.  This means that practices such as meditation, which train us to find quiet and develop calmness and focus are now becoming mandatory practices for those who relish their very sanity.  We need these practices more than ever.  

For some people the chatter is louder than for others, like me for example.  There was a time in my life when that chatter was more powerful than me.  It overwhelmed me.  It was my master.  About 7 years ago, I was turned on to a form of Yoga called Kundalini.  The promise of all spiritual paths is transformation.  With Kundalini Yoga, the transformation was quick, precise and thorough.  I was about to discover the neutral mind.  My life was about to get really, really good!

Within the powerful teachings of Kundalini Yoga, there lies an illuminating description of the 3 minds – negative, positive and neutral, which has relevance for anyone who has ever wished there was a way to turn off the committee and get to the heart of you. Say you have a decision to make – like should you cross the street or not. The negative mind will show up saying things like, “are you sure you want to cross the street? There’s a lot of traffic and you might get hurt?  What’s so special across that street anyway?”  Meanwhile the positive mind kicks in.  “Look over there.  It’s amazing across that street.  Let’s go over there.  Doesn’t look dangerous to me.  It’s an adventure.  Let’s have at it.”  You see, the negative mind, despite its name, is neither bad nor good. Rather, it is the part of your mind that tells you the reasons not to do something.  It is the protective part of your mind. People who are too heavily in their negative mind are over-protected.  They are risk-adverse and will miss some opportunities that life presents, but they rarely get too burned.  The positive mind, on the other hand, is also neither good nor bad.  It simply tells you the reasons to do something.  It is the creative, adventurous part of your mind. People who are too heavily in their positive mind rarely miss opportunities because they see and are willing to take them on as they arise.  These folks have very adventurous lives, but they have a hard time committing to a long-term process and, because they are willing to take risks, will take a whooping from time to time.  Then there’s the neutral mind, which we can only access by getting still and quiet.  The neutral mind listens to the testimony of both the negative and positive minds and then from a centered place makes the decision, which is always the right decision because it honors and bends toward the will of your highest Self – that part of you that has your Absolute best interests in mind.  

When we are balanced in all three minds, we allow our inner calling to come through.  

So ask yourself, do you have a decision to make today?  Do you tend more toward the positive or negative mind?  How about taking 3 minutes sitting still, closing your eyes, breathing deeply and allowing the input of both your positive and negative minds to come in without interference?  Do not try to make an answer come, rather allow it to come.  Be patient.  Accessing your neutral mind is a new habit that requires you to build the skill of meditation and stillness.  Once you act from the clarity of the neutral mind, you are immediately able to live in the full expression of YOU and to let go of the results of your actions.  Enjoy your freedom. 

If you are interested in learning more about Kundalini Yoga, check out buy Kia Miller’s Radiant Body Yoga DVD Series http://kiamiller.com/radiant-body/store//

  • Stephanie

    Wow, thank you for breaking it down! Exactly what I needed to read, when I needed to read it.

  • April

    Tommy, thank you for breaking it down for us… This is somthing I teach my children daily. They just get it and don’t question it. It took me years to find that soft still voice within…

  • Denise

    Very Inspiring. Was a pleasure to read and I am definitely interested in learning more. Thank you 🙂

  • This was just what i needed….i am truly grateful for this article.

  • Jen

    I needed to read this today, and will begin to practice it everyday – thank you!

  • Paige

    Totally understand !! Love this .. Very true

  • Michelle

    Our family has just come through the earthquake in Christchurch, NZ – this spoke to me this morning as we try to work out how to move forward. To stay and risk further harm or stay and join the rebuilding process? To go and risk losing all, or go and rebuild a new life? Every choice has positive, negative, and now, thanks for the reminder – neutral, aspects. You’ve reminded me to meditate, and find the peace within. Thank you 🙂

  • Hi Tommy!
    Thank you for this great information. It seems our minds lean toward confusion and chaos when trying to make decisions and your explanation is a perfect way to find the Heart’s truth!
    Sat Nam,
    Kelli

  • Thank you for clarifying this Tommy! 🙂

  • Rita

    I was worried that I was either too negative or too positive, until I read this 🙂

  • Shawn

    <3

  • Taming the reactive mind is the fundamental building block in contoling the direction life takes us. Thanks for your clear explanation of the mind and the steps needed for control. To me this is the biggest obstacle, getting the monkey mind to chill out.