Stopping the Brain

2013-04-09  Stopping the Brain

Stopping the brain from working; how can anyone do that?

Since being a child the problem has been the same. Now, as an adult, the problem persists: A brain that doesn’t stop working with thoughts. Always there is something in my mind moving, re-shaping…morphing into a new form.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying those thought have always a value; in fact, most of the times they are just runaway thoughts that mean nothing and go nowhere. But they are there; always using brain space and energy!

It just seems so incredible for me when I see someone looking at the infinite, and when asking what is in his/her mind, the answer is: “Nothing” And after some questions about the moment of looking at the infinite, the answers really note that the person has a blank mind with no thoughts at all.

After so many years and so many times asking to different people, I can see that clearly there is a time and moment when most people can enter a sort of trance state and simply stop thoughts completely, and most of the times without even trying to reach that point. Just by getting lost in an image through a window or a wall in front, most people seem to have the capability to stop the brain from working and simply allow the time go by in a completely motionless moment of mental and physical inactivity.

Now, when I say no brain activity I mean human thoughts, or at least images going through. Obviously the brain never stops working since it has so much to do with keeping up automated breathing and heart pit, and so many other bodily functions required to just stay alive. If there was absolutely no brain activity at all then the body would be dead!

It is really intriguing for me since, as I mentioned above, I’ve never been able to do that, and even though many times the thoughts are just random images that re-shape continually without direction or purpose, still they are there all the time.

The point is, there is always a thought going on, and never a moment of rest for the brain from moving. It can be a question about something that has to be done and I don’t know how; it can be about decisions that have to be made and there is the need to collect more information before such decision can be taken properly; it can be something like the curiosity of what happens in a specific situation when a specific action occurs; it can be a jumping memory of a bad moment the day before, etc.

Honestly, sometimes I feel a sort of envy of those people who can simply stop their brain from working for a while and let the time go by while being in a sort of stand by mode. It seems to be so refreshing as a moment of rest for the brain and the mind!

Do you have those moments of getting lost without thoughts while looking at a wall or a window? If so, tell me how it is and how does it feel.


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10 Responses to Stopping the Brain

  1. Sara says:


    I’m sort of envious too. These moments of escaping the busy, busy brain full of thoughts and images don’t happen to me very often either.

    The only time I can seem to get them to is when I’m out in nature, just observing via a walk, or watching the birds come my feeder or a moment of seeing my cat sleeping. At these times, I feel fully present w/o the jumble of my usual demanding thoughts:~)

    Interesting post, Raul!
    Sara´s last post ..My Almost X-Rated Post

    Raul Reply:

    Hi Sara,

    Yes, a walk in nature is very relaxing for the brain. I do many walks for that very reason.

    Raul´s last post ..Stopping the Brain

  2. Patricia says:

    This is a problem that many people encounter especially when they are attempting to make a change in their lives. A local teacher works with ADHD children and yoga and through learning to control their body in a pose and then the correct breathing techniques after a period of time, they can get a stop point. It takes physical and concentrated effort – but it is rewarding to see it happen and the children enjoy it also.

    I can find a peaceful mind in nature…and I have moments when I just check out…

    Buddhist Monks spend a life time at it and do it very well…present moment mindfulness.

    It is a huge problem for folks with wartime PTSD…the mind races with the protective thoughts non-stop…Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn is teaching mindfulness counselors to work with the returning soldiers and is having amazing results at the Military base just north of us…He has a lot of books and followers…
    I know there is someone who teaches his work in Boulder, CO.
    He is the only expert on this work I know, and I wish I personally was much better at it…
    ADHD children are also afraid (or have physical anxiety) about going to sleep because getting their brains going again is extremely difficult….
    Interesting perspective you shared here. I always learn so much from you Thank you
    Patricia´s last post ..Morning Light is Revealing – II

    Raul Reply:

    Hi Patricia,

    I can imagine how complicated it must be for soldiers, and people in general who happen to live war times and also for those who have a special “disorder”. It really gets me confused when I discover another person who can easily and without any training simply shut off the brain and remain for a period of time (10-20 minutes) without thoughts; and even more, get to that point without even trying!

    Since I am always interested in human behavior in general, and the human brain/mind in particular, this subject has to come out at some point to be considered. LOL

    Raul´s last post ..Stopping the Brain

  3. Liza says:

    In middle school, I actually came up with something that sort of matched this perfectly…

    How can you say you’re thinking of “nothing” when “nothing” is, indeed, “something”? And if “something” is really “nothing”, then the two are forever at war with each other. “Nothing” means just that — “nothing” — so you can’t say you’ve “nothing” going on ever, because even “nothing” is actually “something”.

    It ended up confusing a lot of people…

    I still wonder if it’s actually possible, though, to actually be thinking about nothing at all.
    Liza´s last post ..Seven Deadly Sins: Sloth

    Raul Reply:

    Hi Liza,

    Well, thinking about nothing is indeed thinking of something…nothingness; so I agree with the concept. The thing is when someone is not thinking at all; then nothing would be in that person’s mind for that moment, and the only possible “something” that could exist in that situation is then emptiness, which is another form of nothing.

    Thank you for stopping by and contributing your thoughts :)


  4. Kelvin Kao says:

    I don’t really think you ever stop thinking. But there are ways to feel like that.

    One is, you weren’t paying attention to the subconscious. Your subconscious mind is still thinking a bunch of thoughts. You are just not paying any attention to the thoughts that popped up.

    The other is that you are focusing and thinking about things not changing. If you are in nature, you are thinking about your environment. Sure, you are not thinking about anything in particular, but you are indeed thinking either about how rich the environment is, or maybe how constant the environment is. Your brain is still processing things. Introduce a small change (a bird suddenly lands in front of you) and your brain will catch it right away. It was constantly checking “is it still the same? yes. Is it still the same? yes. Is it still the same? yes” And then when one thing changes, it will quickly catch it.

    That’s what I think anyway.
    Kelvin Kao´s last post ..New music video: Exit

    Raul Reply:

    Hi Kelvin,

    What you describe seems to me more like the way the brain works in an intelligent person…always thinking. And the “breaks” are by just re-directing the attention or simply reducing the effectiveness of the concentration in a sort of consciously, or even unconsciously, “blurring” the thought. In those cases yes, the brain never stops working.

    We know that a brain will never stop working at an unconscious level, but what intrigues me is those situations where someone does not have conscious thoughts, and also doesn’t even perceive the surroundings by being lost in a sort of trance.

    Still, interesting perspective you present; thank you!

    Raul´s last post ..Stopping the Brain

  5. weedbychoice says:

    To be honest I don’t have those
    ” deer in the headlights look “..and don’t think I want to experience them. My brain is going 60 mph during the day..I am one of those people that want ALL the time I can have in this world and don’t want to miss a minutes of it..I constantly multitask, always have..sometimes there are many different thoughts at once and I have to prioritize, but it’s what makes me who I am. Love your analogies,thoughts,curiosity…that’s what makes you who you are…special…just my thoughts…
    weedbychoice´s last post ..Helpful Hints and Tips….

    Raul Reply:

    Hi KJ,

    I do share with you the idea of trying to get the most of every minute. Thinking all the time and trying to analyze everything is something I just love doing, although I have to admit that in the physical world, when it comes to “do” stuff, I tend to be just a regular folk LOL

    Raul´s last post ..Empty World

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