Zen Advice | How to Achieve the Stateless Condition of Mind

A Painters Mind by Ramos Burrito

Ask yourself, why is that you often get worried or anxious? Try to recollect the last couple of times you felt restless or worried. Was the event to which you reacted actually so upsetting? It is very likely that you reacted prematurely or excessively to a situation that could have been handled well. It is possible that your frustration overclouded your senses and made you panic.

How This Affects Us

Most of us find it hard to relax because our mind is overcome with negative thoughts. We carry a lot of thoughts in a conscious or sub-conscious manner. Our mind retains an impression of the events that have gone by. Over a period, these collective thoughts add stress to our minds. Every time some new information is fed to us, these passive thoughts act as a barrier for reacting appropriately. Rather than assessing the current situation, we interpret the new situation based on our past experiences. You might ask why’s that a bad thing.

There are two sides to this effect. Firstly, the impressions, opinions, and conclusions we hang on to help us make wiser decisions. We constantly learn from our experiences. This helps us to avoid repeating mistakes. However, there is a bigger, undesirable side to it. I am talking about the kind of negative thoughts we carry for far too long. The frustrations, anger, and resentment can become rooted in our mind. Our ability to objectively react to a situation is compromised. Retaining these negative sentiments is the main reason why dealing with anxiety becomes so difficult.

How to relax your mind using statelessness

The Zen mindset talks about the easiest way to achieve statelessness. The Zen way of living can be achieved when you are ready to let go. This means being able to forego the experiences that have soured you. The Zen mind is essentially an uncluttered mind that is ready to forgive and start with a clean slate. Your memory about past experiences should be very limited. Here, every new interaction is a fresh one since you don’t have a preconceived notion. You don’t pre-judge people or prematurely assess situations. In this stateless mindset, there is no room for regrets, grudges, and no worries about what might happen.

Why letting go of thoughts is necessary in dealing with anxiety

Please understand that anxiety takes a chronic form when you start reacting nervously to similar situations. The first time we are faced with a challenging situation, the accompanying anxiety is expected— it comes with the situation and then slowly fades away. However, the uneasiness of having dealt with an unpleasant situation is retained like a memory. For example, you might have dangerously slipped on a high-rise terrace. The nervousness/fear you went through is expected to remain for a couple of days. There is also a chance that with time, the fear gets engrained in your mind. You might start perceiving every high-rise structure as a possible threat. This is because you have allowed that incident to take root in your mind. You can develop a similar pattern towards unpleasant situations every time you were upset or afraid.

Why is it difficult to maintain a stateless mind

We are living in an era of easily-available information. We prefer to have information on-the-go, even when we are traveling or watching a movie. Handheld computerized devices have ensured that you are immediately updated about events that surround you. A piece of humor or the news of your favorite club winning a sports event can uplift your spirits.

Conversely, it is easy to get depressed in this age of information. Just look at the content found in online newsletters, blogs, and opinionated forums etc. You will realize that there is an abundance of upsetting interactions. This creates an unplanned connection with possibly-upsetting situations.

With Some Effort, Statelessness is Possible

If you find yourself confused about how to relax your mind, try the Zen approach. Try to disconnect yourself with overbearing information. Switch-off the connection in your mobile handset for a couple of hours. Try not to check the email every few minutes. Develop the habit of digging deeper into pleasant conversations. Slowly, let go of your bitterness. Sway away from interactions that seem outrightly upsetting.