Meet Your Tindering Mind

Once you start observing how you react to whatever passes by in meditation you might become aware of the near constant swiping left and right that your mind is involved in.

“This is fun/feel good/nice so I want more of it”, or “unwanted, yuck, ouch, ewwww, be gone!” Your mind is continually engaged in gauging whether something is desired or not. The desired stimuli are preferred and the undesired ones get pushed away.

Itching is a good example. Undesirable, irritating, has to go. Answer (mostly instantaneous, at least with me): scratching and rubbing. As long as it is socially acceptable, we work on getting rid of that darn itch!

First sip of a pleasant drink. “Lekker”, moooore please. Answer: drink it all.

Your mind is doing this all the time, second by second, 24 hours a day. You can take the time to be present for this process as it unfolds. Meditation is a way of being present with your likes and dislikes, more than you ever knew you had.

And this is what motivates our behaviours. Without this system, we might not have any reason to move, to do anything at all. At this basic level, your mind is a super efficient swipe-master. Yes yes No NO NOOO Yes yes yes no nononono, etcetera.

Even when you find yourself sitting completely still and having no thoughts, this process continues. This continual grasping after something, anything, as if your mind were an industrial robot that has no idea that there is nothing coming down the assembly line. It just keeps stamping non-existent labels, keeps twisting caps on non-existent bottles, keeps winding non-existent labels around non-existent bottles with or without caps.

Even in the meditative silence that is there for you in each moment, you’re not immune to the inherent disquiet of your own personal tinder king. NICCEEEE extacy MORE PLEASE. OOH pleasure GOOOOOD. MMMM silence HOW PLEASANT. It will only cease at the attainment of the state of equanimity: non-preference of whatever presents itself to your awareness.

To be honest, this pure equanimity is a property of people who spend weeks in silence. Yet, you can practice with noticing your Tinder King. Can you get it into sharp focus? The more you can experience directly of this process playing out, the more insights you can glean about how your mind functions on a fundamental level. And that insight can make it easier to be present with the experiential element you have control over: to decide to act or not to act according to the judgements of your Tinder King.

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