There is a primordial wizard living inside me. It is called Mind, and it’s capable of many great and terrible things. It can create an entire world in an instant, and then shatter that world, and make a new one in no time at all. It is always building, and destroying, and building again, ever-restless, unsettled. It casts spells to entertain. It whispers illusions of certainty. It rages at the very same beasts it summons. An exhausting sorcerer. Very needy, contradictory; it wants all the attention, but at the same time, refuses to show itself. I’ve never actually met the wizard of Mind, face to face. I’ve only ever seen its magic – the thoughts, the thinking. Who is the wizard, the one responsible for these hexes and spells? Where does it live? Where does it hide? Of course, trying to answer those questions would just be another wild goose chase of thinking. An endless game of hide and seek. Mind ensnares awareness with all kinds of enchanting tricks. It has had thousands of years to practice.
It’s a strange and wonderful thing to experience a moment of disenchantment with this wizard-in-residence. Just getting tired of it. Tired of its ceaseless scheming and dreaming. Tired of its beautiful bullshit. Enough already. What was once breathtaking becomes boring. Not worth the attention – no more hopeful parades, no more call to arms. There’s a moment of pause: “Do we really have to this time, just because the wizard wants to? Do we absolutely have to?” Maybe not.
After touching this kind of disenchantment, sometimes the fear comes. The question: “If all my thoughts are just so many magic tricks cast by an unseen wizard that may not even exist in the first place, then what am I? Who am I?” But that’s just another thought. That’s the wizard at work, thinking again.
This must be why they tell you to focus on the breath in some forms of meditation. Just follow the breath, that’s all, using it as a throne to hold the awareness. The breath is not an idea or a thought, not an interpretation or a concept. It is an innocent process without an agenda, a refuge. The wizard of Mind is breathtaking, takes the breath away, so take the breath back, and just breathe. The simple cycle of inhale and exhale invites the awareness out of the wizard’s ancient sorcery, back into something even more ancient: being. Focusing on the breath, I am just being…until I’m thinking again – interpreting, reinterpreting, misinterpreting, etc.
I don’t know what any of this means. I don’t know what it implies. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with it. Oh look, that’s the wizard again! Awareness enchanted by thinking, wanting to know – textbook Mind magic. Very slippery, this stuff. Very magnetic. Just breathe, when the enchantment comes, whatever the spell or the curse. Maybe disenchantment – peace – is really that close, just a breath away.