My son’s favorite iPad game these days is Subway Surfers. For those who haven’t played it, the objective is quite simple. It’s set inside a train yard. You play as young vandal Jake who is on the run from the grumpy inspector and his Pitbull dog. You dash from train to train, and jump from track to track, going faster and faster. There is no finish line, you just keep collecting coins endlessly. Or until you collide into a wall or an oncoming train.
It strikes me as being such a great metaphor for the mind. A thought comes, and we hop on the train of association – one thought leads to another, then the mind jumps to a feeling, then hops onto a stray passing memory, then changes tracks to a fantasy. And this goes on all day. The trains and the environments keep changing but the running continues. The mind does not really care which train it hops on. In fact, most of the time we don’t even know that we have hopped on. We just keep endlessly surfing the subways of our minds, and keep colliding with oncoming life.
The opposite of this insane, perpetual-motion state, my brother and mentor GD says, is being in Presence. Being in presence is just a remembrance. There is no push. It’s the reverse of push – it’s a letting go. A gentle awakeness. It’s a very gentle questioning. It’s questioning the dream all the time. He often suggests some interesting questions to bring people back to Presence:
Am I truly ‘Awake’ in this moment, or am I lost in the dream?
Am I truly CONSCIOUS, or am I lost in the jungle of mind?
What stories and imaginations am I making real in this moment?
Or, you could use the question I quietly ask myself these days to snap out of the dream: Is my mind subway surfing again?