Thursday, April 10, 2014


I found myself contemplating the mind in my morning meditation.  I have a metaphor I've used in the past, imagining the brain as the engine of a car traveling through the landscape...  and thought this morning that I could revise and refine that metaphor if I thought of the brain, instead, as the onboard computer, connecting to and controlling all the moving--and multiple non-moving--parts.  The engine, then, would be the heart; it was the heartbeat I was feeling as I contemplated all this, because I saw the heart as the driving force...

Mind, then, would be not only the whole machine, but the road ahead and the road behind.  It would be the changing landscape, and the cityscape behind.  But it would also reach to every horizon and beyond; up to the sky and beyond the sky, to the ends of the universe.  As I imagine it, mind has to be that big.

And then, surprising me as I thought about all this in retrospect, after meditation, my mother's voice returned to me from childhood: never mind, she would say.  Never mind.  She meant, of course, "don't let it worry you"; or, sometimes, "don't cry, the hurt will go away."  Never mind covered every adverse circumstance, every accident of boyhood, the scraped knee, the fall from a bicycle, the hurt feelings...  Never mind.  Using the word as in "I don't mind if I do."  Or "do you mind if I…"  Or "Mind your Ps and Qs."  Very polite, very English!

My mother's intention was a good one: to soothe, to wipe away the pain.  But of course it's always mind.  It's "all in the mind."  As I was saying, mind is everything I can imagine, and then much, much more.  It's infinite.  That big.

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