Mind Tricks You into Mindlessness

Me: Maggie, why can’t you turn down the shower knob?
Husband: Sorrrryyyyy, I thought I did. Why don’t you check it before you turn on the faucet?
Me: Silent. all wet.

He is right. My eyes are working fine but my mind was busy thinking something nonsensical. Two days in a row, I walk into the bathroom for something else but had to come out taking a shower.

If I do not have a say on when to shower, there is a problem. Generally, you see these in movies, when the hero or heroine is in love, he or she mindlessly go about doing their work. No, I am not in love and ain’t daydreaming. So, this is not good 😉

If my mind accompanies my body in its activities this wouldn’t happen. But I guess, I have made it think that it has many more important things to ponder upon while the body mechanically runs its activities.

This is a good reason for me to turn mindful. So, I told my mind you will be here with me in whatever I am doing. That is the only way I would know what you are thinking. And, that is the only way I could go about doing things efficiently.

Here, is a conversation between us.

Mind: It is very boring that you keep a tab on me all the time. Moreover, you know what needs to go into a khichdi. You don’t need my help.
Me: Yeah, I need you here. See, I create fewer blunders so fewer cleanups

Was lying on the couch. Conversation continues…

Mind: Remember, those days, when you would do something mindlessly and I would do my own thing. We were happy then.
Now you have to learn to watch me over all the time. You do let me think but you are intruding.
Me: You could daydream when I decide to go mindless for some time. When I choose not to listen to some boring conversation, I will let you free then. But for now, you are with me. I AM THE BOSS.
Mind: Okay, then. Why don’t you grab a coffee? I guess we both could use a cup right now
Me: RIGHT NOW? HMmmmmm….

Shrimad Bhagavad Gita on turning Mindful
Sanaih sanair uparamed buddhya dhrti-grhitaya
Atma-samstham manah kritva na kincid api cintayet //
Bhagavad Gita, Chp 6, Shl 25

 

 

Learning Knows No Age

I saw a lady trying to cheer up a kid from the apartment’s balcony. The kid was imitating whatever she was doing. After a while, the lady seemed tired but the kid happily continued mimicking. As I watched them, I thought what a beautiful display of mirror neurons at work. A primitive thing which stayed regardless of how much we progressed, both in age and science.

We see someone in shape, there is an immediate urge to get in shape though continuing might be a challenge. If the thought of cooking itself is boring then watch a YouTuber cooking for her family and instinctively you are motivated. How else can you explain 1 million subscribers and a million likes on such videos?

Mirror Neurons.jpg

When our favourite actors smoke on screen, we reach out for our packs.

One day I decided to watch all Kenny Sebastian’s stand-up comedy on YouTube and after few hours my husband arrived from work. After five minutes or so into our conversation, I noticed my husband’s weird expression or rather a confused one. I didn’t have to ask him the reason, I knew then that I was acting like Kenny. After watching more than 10 shows of him, my mind has literally adopted his ways and was turning Kenny. My husband was so confused else he would have captured my act in a video and I could have shared it with you 😉

That is the power of the mind and the power of media🤑 They say we learn pretty much everything in the first five years of our life, but we continue to learn through our experiences. And that is why Organisations spend millions of dollars in training.

Bhagavad Gita also states the same- We have a tendency to follow and imitate the people we like. Nothing stands in our way other than the proper resolve to become that. Even the sinners when in the right company, they can learn their true nature and follow the path of a Guru(an enlightened being).  Just like Ratnakarah who, with the help of sage Narada, turned Valmiki. There is no age, the strong resolve is the only necessary ingredient to achieve success.

Api chet su-durāchāro bhajate mām ananya-bhāk Sādhur eva sa mantavyaḥ samyag vyavasito hi saḥ//
Kṣhipraṁ bhavati dharmātmā śhaśhvach-chhāntiṁ nigachchhati Kaunteya pratijānīhi na me bhaktaḥ praṇaśhyati//
Bhagavad Gita Chapter 9 Shl 30, 31

Even if the vilest sinners worship Me with exclusive devotion, they are to be considered righteous, for they have made the proper resolve. Quickly they become virtuous and attain lasting peace. O son of Kunti, declare it boldly that no devotee of mine is ever lost

Yadi hyahaṁ na varteyaṁ jātu karmaṇyatandritaḥ
Mama vartmānuvartante manuṣhyāḥ pārtha sarvaśhaḥ
Bhagavad Gita Chapter 3 Shl 23

For if I did not carefully perform the prescribed duties, O Parth, all men would follow my path in all respects.

 

 

Do I Always Tell The/My Truth?

We had the privilege of hosting family and friends over the past couple of weeks. And there had been some interesting conversations.  One such went something like this……

When you walk into the house you will hardly miss the book collection. It is strategically placed 😉

“Aah! I see you have a good collection here”
“Thank You”
“Whats with all these spiritual texts? Did not know that you are into all this?!” …….Silence
“Hahaha, I haven’t read them all.” silence again…
“Hmmmm…So, do you practice what you read?”
“Try to”
“Ohh so you never lie? All holy texts urge man to speak the truth, don’t they?”
(Smiled and asked her if I can get her another cup of coffee)
“You didn’t answer my question?”
“I do lie. I try to remain quiet at those times but if I have to then mostly I speak the situation”
“Oh Okay.” “What are your thoughts on the beef ban?”
Another dangerous question 😶

Oh, she was good, very good at asking tough questions 😋

Okay, coming back to the topic of discussion.  I do not think any religion would ask you to always speak your blind truth. Your truth is your understanding of the situation which may not be completely true. Where do we go in search of facts?

What is Truth? Is it “Your Truth” or “The Truth”. We don’t always have to fill the silence.

However, the problem arises when we want to be a part of every conversation. So, we participate in the gossip when we know it isn’t right. It takes enormous strength to stay away and at the same time to be kind and to speak your truth.

But, before we start, we could ask ourselves, if it is even important to speak or to entertain the negativity that drains our energy. I am not hundred percent there yet. I still agree to things to keep the close-knit happy. I restrain from gossiping and carefully choose the people I interact with but I still haven’t learnt the art of being assertive and yet kind.

At times, when people mistake the silence for the disability then that is when you are tested. It is okay to commit mistakes if you know they are blunders to be avoided. After all, we are Human learning to stay humane.

Bhagavad Gita on Speech…

Anudvegakaram vākyam satyam priyahitam ca yat |
svādhyāyābhyasanam caiva vāṅmayam tapa ucyate || BG 17.15 || 

Non-irritating, truthful and pleasing speech, reading of Scriptures and performing spiritual practices.

So Why Grieve?

Life gets tough at times and we all learn complex lessons through our life experiences. Sometimes it is difficult to cope but in the process, we grow stronger.

Just like everybody else, I have my own challenges to overcome but I don’t want to stress more than what I should. I don’t want to follow the crowd that thinks to stress over things helps.

Like it or not, none of us is going to be here forever. So why stress on stressors? It is easy to say but just turn around and see if stressing had helped.

Let me quote the Bhagavad Gita,  death is the only truth you know for sure and is certain. Moreover, you think you are this body and you get too attached to its activities but ultimately you have to even drop this body here before you make your journey to the next. And you wouldn’t remember a thing of this life in your next. So why worry about anything? (chapter 2, verses 25-30).

My fav among the above verses is the one below. Everybody knows this but yet only a few understand it. Beautifully said…

Aśhcharya-vat paśhyati kaśhchid enan
Aśhcharya-vad vadati tathaiva chānyaḥ
Aśhcharya-vach chainam anyaḥ śhṛiṇoti
Shrutvāpyenaṁ veda na chaiva kaśhchit //

Some view the soul as amazing, some describe it as amazing, and some hear of the soul as amazing, while others, even on hearing, cannot understand it at all.

Something to remember …

Image: the Internet

 

Moved Into New Rented Home

Moved into new rented home just like the same way I moved into this body with absolutely nothing.

As soon as our parents got to know about our movement, they shared many things to help us make a smooth transition into this new chapter of ours. Just the same way, I got a name and other things along with a family as soon as I moved into this body that I call mine.

I try not to entertain any thoughts about adding anything more to the rented apartment than what is required. Because I know although I live here, it is not mine then I wonder why does it not come easily to me when I look at my body. That I had also signed a rental agreement before moving into this body and one day I have to vacate even this that I call mine.

Something to remember…or the only thing worth remembering…

Srimad Bhagavad Gita

Adhyatmajnana nityatvam tattva jnanartha darsanam
etaj jnanam iti proktam ajnanam yad ato ‘nyatha

Settled conviction in the nature of the SELF and understanding that the knowledge of the Self as the ultimate in Knowledge – this is declared to be wisdom; whatever is
other than this is ignorance.

Destiny- Never Blame God

Nobody is lucky here, God says.

Everything we gain here is nothing but the fruits of our actions( Karma phala) of this life or the previous lives, i.e. Karma through our Thoughts, Speech and Actions.

Although we have no control over the karmic fruits, we are given the choice to choose our actions. Every moment in life is a choice and we are allowed to make a decision. Then, how can anybody be responsible for the consequences? Most of us make the decision based on our past alone. When each of us at every moment is given an opportunity to exercise free will then why should we repeat the same pattern over and over again.

Know that they are your actions and God is not to be blamed. He is not directing your life but has given you the freedom to both write and direct your own life. Gita strongly denies his involvement clearly in Chapter 5, shlok 14 and 15. He states while the Tri-Gunas are doing their job according to their nature, you out of ignorance choose to identify with their work and thus get stuck with the sense of doership. He asserts firmly that both virtuous deeds or otherwise do not involve him.

Na kartṛitvaṁ na karmāṇi lokasya sṛijati prabhuḥ
Na karma phala saṅyogaṁ svabhāvas tu pravartate

Nādatte kasyachit pāpaṁ na chaiva sukṛitaṁ vibhuḥ
Ajñānenāvṛitaṁ jñānaṁ tena muhyanti jantavaḥ

This, of course, does not mean that we keep indulging in all activities without bringing any change in our behaviours and then debate that they are nothing but the Gunas in action. Spirituality is about purifying and transcending one’s mind and we should not fool ourselves in the process

And, Self-realization is hard to attain and definitely not a mockery. Now THE MIND has a biased stance towards the body. Until the MIND understands, acknowledges and identifies with the truth after conducting sufficient inquiry into the laws governing the human life, will ‘IT’ attain stability.

Image: On the way to Baba Mandir

The Beauty Of Contradiction

Sarvendriyagunabhasam sarvendriyavivarjitam
Asaktam sarvebhrccaiva nirgunam gunabhoktr ca//
                                                                           Bhagavad Gita 13,15

The Ultimate Truth shining by the functions of all the senses, yet without the senses; unattached, yet supporting all; devoid of all qualities, yet their maintainer.

Look at the beauty of this Shloka. Guru Veda Vyasa defines the Indefinable in a language of contradiction.

We could use an analogy to illustrate this striking contradiction.

The power of the electricity is recognised when the plugged-in devices perform its task though it needs no devices to be known- it itself is so pronounced. The nature of electricity doesn’t change depending upon the devices plugged in. It doesn’t acquire the qualities of the appliances, does it? For example, the electricity is not the cold in the fridge nor the heat in the geyser. Electricity when functioning through the appliances conditioned by them gives an impression of being something else other than itself

The appliances can run faulty and can break down yet when replaced the electricity powers them the same way as it did it with the previous one. So it stays detached yet supports any appliances that come in contact with.

It is just not electricity, everything in nature seems to stand as an example of detached support. Sun and Moon, Ocean and Waves, Mud and Pot, Gold and Jewellery, Waker and Dreamer, Body and Shadow, SELF and Mind etcetera.

Similarly, the SELF functioning through the mind, sense organs and the Intellect might look as though conditioned by them but in reality, it remains unchanged yet supporting all.

The mind with the prevalent Guna(subtle nature/mood at that time) when in contact with the pure Consciousness becomes the ‘Ego’ and is the doer and experiencer. And we say-I did it.

Also, we somehow keep promoting and developing that false Ego. Will we promote the mirage in a desert to a vacation spot? Or worse still waste our whole life in keeping the mirage intact?

The above Shloka clearly states that the Self, however seeming to possess, sustain and maintain the faculties yet it is beyond them and is as detached as the Waker is to the dreamer.

Image: A mirage by Angela A Stanton