Inessentials Rob The Mind

This post is an extension to my other post on how Mind tricks us into a state of mindlessness.

From then on, made a conscious effort to watch my thoughts- the thoughts that stole my concentration away from whatever I was doing. I was not always successful – it takes a lot of energy to process the things which have been to set to automation.

Only good thing that came out of this process is my understanding of some of the inessentials that I kept thinking. Or the ones that I taught my mind to be essentials by constantly thinking about them when not required. I mean, they are information but the only problem is that they were running unconsciously without me recalling it.

And my understanding about Mindlessness is to be a thought less state. We all experience that state in meditation or in deep sleep. But when the body is actively working the mind should be present there but unlike the body, it does multitask.

This is what I understand that we’re doing- programming it to slowly destroy us and then blaming it. We do not even know where is it localized and we are treating it. It can be numbed but it cannot be cured by medications alone. I think more than any kind of education, this is very important. We should know how to run it rightly. We are just doing it all wrong.

We should teach the kids. They haven’t yet accumulated all the trash that we have. We should teach them to employ mindfulness as an instrument to declutter.

Verses from Srimad Bhagavad Gita:

Chapter 2, verse 62 and Chapter 3, 40-42

Bhagavad Gita strongly recommends you to search the breeding grounds of desire. Desire enters us when we are attached to something. And attachment because of contemplation on sensory objects. We should remember that overthinking leads to a cycle of reactions.

 

 

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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 ūüėČ

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 ūüėČ

That is the power of the mind and the power of mediaūü§Ď¬†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-durńĀchńĀro bhajate mńĀm ananya-bhńĀk¬†SńĀdhur eva sa mantavyaŠł• samyag vyavasito hi saŠł•//
KŠĻ£hipraŠĻĀ bhavati dharmńĀtmńĀ ŇõhaŇõhvach-chhńĀntiŠĻĀ nigachchhati¬†Kaunteya pratijńĀnńęhi na me bhaktaŠł• praŠĻáaŇõhyati//
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 hyahaŠĻĀ na varteyaŠĻĀ jńĀtu karmaŠĻáyatandritaŠł•
Mama vartmńĀnuvartante manuŠĻ£hyńĀŠł• pńĀrtha sarvaŇõhaŠł•
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.

 

 

Is the fight for Respect or the Ego?

Is spirituality about turning the other cheek after being slapped on one? Can the words ‘ego’ and ‘self- respect’ dare to present itself in the dictionary of a spiritual person? Does spirituality ask for absolute compliance in everything? How can anything be condemned by a person who wishes to renounce the world?

I am sure the above questions are no stranger to you. These would have come up when you had to put your foot down and say no. ¬†Your own mind would have inspected to ensure the fight you are putting up is to be heard and certainly not to strengthen your ego. And, the pressure is more real when your views don’t match with the group you belong.

And anyways, it is foolishness to just superficially embrace somebody’s¬†thought when you are not in a capacity to follow it. If somebody slaps you on one cheek, would you happily turn in another one? Just because Jesus or Buddha did it, doesn’t mean you angrily replicate their actions. Isn’t spirituality about inner growth?

There is no hurry. Accept yourself for whatever you are at the moment internally. Build from there.¬†Nothing should rob your intellect of its capacity to choose the right thing in a situation. Although¬†keep in mind your choices are stemming from your limited knowledge. So, there is always scope for improvement. Before we call someone wrong, we should see if we are slaves to our own beliefs. Are we just resisting or ‘hearing’ others out? Most of the time it is the ego at play but we mistake it to be something that is protecting our self-respect.

Poor Ego has got such a reputation that even thinking about it is a SIN. It is one of those things that everybody indulges in but never wants to be associated with. Also, we comfortably ignore the role it plays in the process of our self-preservation.

Does that mean Ego is good? Nothing is good or bad in itself. It exists because it is required to survive and to evolve. If we knew where to stop then the above question itself becomes unnecessary.

In short, what I mean to say is, “do resist” but only after listening to others. If you still do not see any¬†good then you should but your INTENTION shouldn’t be shallow. We will encounter people who will challenge us and whose views might not be right for obvious reasons. But we can use them to strengthen our resolve and thereby forming a new habit. If you loose your calm at times, it is okay. Don’t beat yourself up but stop indulging in it as soon as you realise.

Besides, it is all in the word ‘Self-Respect’- respecting THAT SELF/Divine in everything that we see. That is why we do Namaste.

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Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see.” -Martin Luther King, Jr….I love this quote for reasons different from what it might have been said for.

Image: Internet

Spiritual Stagnation & An Award

First, let me thank the beautiful Shivangi from Multitude Of My Thoughts for the Versatile Blogger award. Her posts depict her beautiful mind.

I am always excited and happy to meet people who have the guts to fight their own demons. It is not easy when you get down to understanding and channelling your mind because it will only serve the One who is worthy to be its master. I have great respect for those who dare to tread this path and blogging has allowed me to meet such fantastic people.

She is one among them. Trying to get a hold and looking inward for answers. You should visit her blog to see how a 20-year-old is striving to achieve a balance in life. Link below

https://multitudeofmythoughts.wordpress.com

While my posts always reflect what I am working on however that doesn’t mean that I always get the things right. I commit blunders on the way. Although, my mind is happily married to me but like any good marriage it took time and work. So, I thought sharing good times alone may not be right ūüėČ

When we experience a ‘state’ that we are unable to maintain after a while, it gets frustrating. There would be an invisible battle between faith and patience and while that happens that state reappears yet wouldn’t stay. It keeps enticing us until we unbecome and attain spiritual maturity.

I am sharing what I learnt during those times and how to avoid it…

  • When the disagreements are strong, it is better to listen. Do not suppress it or start meditating. OBSERVE and LISTEN to the blabber and you will see it coming back.
  • Don’t try to talk somebody’s faith into IT if you haven’t personalised for IT during good times.
  • If you want IT to follow a scripture, make IT fall in love with it. Only then, Shastras will work like conscious suggestion bringing it back on the path.
  • Identify unhealthy patterns and work to overcome. Depending on the severity, I recommend not trying to overcome them overnight. Slowly but consciously build the desired behaviour and IT will be motivated when it sees small success.
  • Teach IT to be flexible. It is absurd if we make IT rigid and narrow. IT should change to evolve. Whenever IT says, my beliefs, my opinions, I am always right etc.Understand who is saying it, and while IT is saying it, observe ..
  • Lastly, if you feel stagnated then stop postponing and start rebuilding. Remember YOU are THAT and nothing can take that away. You are just learning to be YOU.

If we stop observing others and start observing our Mind then ultimately IT would take us to its source.

We are visiting Gangtok, Sikkim. The image is the breathtaking view on the way to the mystique Tsomgo Lake.

The Mind is Eager But The Senses Are Engaged

Should we detest life?

No, Of course not! But when the mind embraces life with all its imperfections then life is possible. Every mind is in search of that infinite bliss even when the senses are fully absorbed in mundane affairs. The Mind is willing but the sense faculties are engaged elsewhere.

And, the search will continue until it understands that the source of any happiness, however, transient in nature is emanating from its own being.

Our outward search for happiness is as absurd as a firefly searching its own light outside.

Our older generations understood this truth very well. I would like to share a traditional Malayalam prayer song that we were taught and asked to recite with BHAAVAM(remembering the meaning) every day. If you are interested, I have also included the meaning line-by-line.

Note: Shiva mentioned in the above prayer is to be understood as the ‘Perfect Being’.
Shiva, the One who has attained Perfection, always blissful in his own Self eternally, Flawless, Formless, One without a Second, Complete.

As a human being, I took birth in this world,
But I am now in the middle of the ocean of Samsara which is like hell,
Please help me swim to the banks, away from the hell,
Oh Shiva Oh Shambhu, the Perfect Being.

Whenever I think about dealing with the fear at the time of death,
My mind forgets all that I know,
And So please come and play in my mind( remind me my True state, Sat-Chit-Ananadam),
Oh Shiva Oh Shambhu, the Perfect Being.

Shiva Shiva, I am ignorant and know nothing,
About the nature of Maha Maya(illusion, Holy Mother, Prakruti),
And so please help me overcome Maha Maya,
Oh Shiva Oh Shambhu, the Perfect Being.

I am entrapped in a very big forest(Samsara)
And I am wandering without knowing the way and when I cry for help,
Oh Lord please show me the right path then
Oh Shiva Oh Shambhu, the Perfect Being.

Lord, with your grace, I found an easy path out of the dense forest,
But on that way, in between, at several places, I see Six stairs( 5 Jnana-Indriya(sense of perception)+ Antarendriya(Mind))
And when I climb all the six stairs then,
I see you, the Perfect Being.

Photo Courtesy:mumbaihikers.com

Brilliant Mind & Eureka Moments

Upon watching the Mathew Brown’s movie, The Man Who Knew Infinity, I pondered on how important it is to have a clear mind for a creative¬†brain. By the way, it’s a biopic on Srinivasa Ramanujan and his friendship with British mathematician G.H. Hardy. A man of intuition with little to no formal education,¬†Ramanujan, was a phenomenal and celebrated mathematician much ahead of his time.

What interested me is his answer to the mathematician G.H. Hardy to how he derived at a new equation? He said it came to him in his dreams.

He failed to systematically prove his work. He was unable to provide any logical account and admitted that they were the thought of God and hence did not require any proof. That epiphany which caused me to think of how many such intuitive moments had come to my aid but could never confess openly the work of my unconscious thoughts. Each one of us everyday experiences these flash moments but how many of us are aware and could successfully apply those to our lives. No doubt, he was wired differently from the others during his time.

‘Intuition’, which made me think and am sure you would agree that some of our best decisions were not the result of our reasoning but that of a hunch. Though uncomfortable but still the truth ;). When our wisdom¬†and intellect fails, intuition is the light we follow, that gut-feeling which defies¬†all logic but works when executed. Does that mean we should reject all analytical reasoning to embrace that inner voice? Not necessarily, everything needs to be balanced. Can’t we integrate them with our other tools¬†available to make the best possible decision?

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Let us take a look at the history, shall we? Every grand discovery had an aha moment, brilliant ideas surfaced when it was least expected. ¬†If those eureka moments were to be true then why did we¬†stop at only idolising the individual but never ventured into their world, their mind. We celebrated the body which housed magnificent mind but couldn’t gather information on how they tuned into¬†the secrets of the universe.

It always had been the work of an attentive and inquisitive mind. Our next questions should have been in the direction of the source, the place where these ideas are born. The only reasoning might be that they were too ahead of their times.

I strongly¬†believe that any breakthrough to be made should already be there waiting to be discovered. The more connected we¬†are to the thought/idea the better we¬†stand a chance to discover it. Bhagavad Gita beautifully explains this phenomenon, it says a sudden appearance of a¬†thing does not mean it wasn’t there already. It was there you weren’t observing, now that you observed it appeared. Nothing here is ever created new, it is always discovered. [B.G. 2,28]

Avyaktadini bhutani vyakta-madhyani bharata
Avyakta-nidhanany eva tatra ka paridevana

Then, why only a few discover great things? Are we born different? Do we all not have the same qualitative brain make-up?

Ideas come to¬†minds that are lucid. How can anything reflect on a troubled mind? Even if it did, the chaotic mind wouldn’t see it. However, if our minds start believing and literally living in any idea then history records that the idea¬†had¬†turned from a mere thought to a real experience. Examples are many,¬†from Mahatma Gandhi to Adolf Hitler ūüôā

quote-all-knowledge-exists-in-the-mind-universe-of-light-which-is-god-that-all-mind-is-one-walter-russell-68-3-0306

Image:the web