Should I not just attain nirvana? Does it need work?

These are a few interesting things that you may notice if at all you are on this journey.

First,

Mind is a great talker but a bad listener

It can talk us into anything if we allow it to. Don’t go with the talk, it will quieten a bit and let it enjoy the silence. Poor thing, it has never tasted it, trust me, it will like it.

The biggest challenge is to cement the idea that you are not the body

The mind after much probing would admit that it is not the body but it takes time to digest the idea. It has to identify with something. Its job is to make sense of things and if we leave it without identity, it’s gonna go crazy. That is why the scriptures or seers or Gita tells us to believe that we are Atman. 

Now it thinks it is Atman, so it tries to understand what this ‘Atman’ is. Then it learns a little more about it- that it exists everywhere and in everything. I mean, we are building a thought process around something Whole & United. 

If you keep with it and keep at it then the old habits will drop, new wholesome identities will form. In everything, it will see itself. For example, when it sees another person, it will see itself (the mind) operating behind that person. When it sees a piece of wooden furniture, it will see the wood more clearly now; water in the ice more clearly.

Mind looses all its learning when in Love more than in Hatred

They are right when they say we lose our mind when we are in love. It forgets who it is; all the new habits go out of the window. All discipline is out, it acts like a teenager.

Yeah, that is all nice but it is important for it to remember who it is even then. How can that happen? It only happens if we constantly keep feeding that idea and trying to see that mind operating behind whoever we are interacting with.

So when it goes crazy, it will remind itself and will try to get some hold before it goes haywire 😉

Detachment does not mean being mean

Just because we are not the body does not mean that we have to suppress its needs. I have seen people do that but we can go easy on that. Don’t overdo it.

The idea that we are not the body does not mean to demean it. Our body is like another belonging; it is not us. Try to strike a balance. 

Exercise as normal, dress as you do, do whatever chores you do regularly with it. The Guru or Gita is not preaching the body but the mind. The mind has to adorn fewer thoughts around the body- that’s the point.

Mind resists familiar societal ideas when building new ones

It is something that we have to keep in mind that it will resist what it is changing. Let me give you an example, I was trying to see reform in my old ways, one being God is not someone to be afraid of. Like many, I have been raised with the idea that idol worship makes God happy and vice-versa. 

Then I met somebody who asked me if God had no other business other than punishing the ones who don’t follow him. He said God is everywhere and being respectful to everything here is respecting him. And I wanted to practice that but out of fear and habit, I used to still bow down in confusion. Please don’t read me wrong, I’m not saying bowing down is wrong but out of fear or by habit is meaningless. 

And, what he said made sense; God cannot be like us, right? So I decided to practice it and I started saying a prayer anywhere, not necessarily before the prayer room. Also, I replaced my silly prayers with a Shanti mantra instead. People will notice and you’ll get an eye roll and all but that’s okay. What I am trying to tell here is this- when the mind makes a change, it is going to look drastic initially, later it will learn to be that within and perform things outside. Till then give it time.

Just saying “I am Atman” will not make us one

It is all contemplation and practice. We are not trying to prove a point to anybody here, neither are we trying to put others beliefs down. 

We are experimenting with the truth so we got to flow like a river. Everybody here is trying to do the same in some fashion or the other. We are not here to judge them. If we are not a river we will never learn and we can never flow to the ocean. So the mind should keep flowing in that direction and it will find its way to its source.

Should I not just attain nirvana, when I am under a tree or on a rock? Does it need work?

No, it doesn’t need work. But when the mind is only focussed on the world then shifting its focus might need your attention.

We generally ask questions as to when and where have a seeker attained samadhi. But what we should be asking is what his journey was like before he attained that state. What was his state of mind? That particular rock or tree hasn’t spoken to him neither is it going to talk to us, it was his mind which attained nirvana. That state of mind is what we should be interested in. 

Knowing that would do us some good. Nobody attains anything just like that. Their journey should have started when the world alone left them empty inside. And that’s more riveting than when and where 🙂

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Longing Will Only End…

Longing for a thing will only come to an end when we finally understand that the ‘Thing’ is neither us nor it is going to last forever. That ‘Thing’ can be our body, our people, our wealth, or whatever vapid that we are pining for.

Until this gets into our head, neither will the longing stop nor the desire to amass things will end. We can talk and write infinite things around it but we can never put a step further from where we stand.

Worry Not, for the mind can still operate without attributing ‘IT’ to be whatever it has been falsely taught it is. In fact, it can guide us better when ‘IT’ realizes that it is not the one who is performing the feats. Really, you have to experience that to believe it.

The problem with us is that we keep running as if there is a finish line. But do we see one? Has anyone who ran before us seen it? Nevertheless, we keep running and panting till we crash.

With racing, we conveniently stopped thinking and thereby adding layers of personalities around one poor mind. It now carries a lot of baggage of varied characteristics that not only commands its attention but also consumes its energy while protecting them.

But what if we could take a moment and think whether we are as complex as we made ourselves to be. Is there another way of running the race? or Are we really in a race?

Why do I not see a finish line? What am I running for? How much ever I run and whatever trophies I had won, had it made me happy? Has that happiness lasted?

I think sometimes it is better to stop and ask these. We are so consumed in this run that at times we end up destroying others dreams on the way. All because of our wrong identifications and blindly conforming to whatever we were told.

It is really something that we should ponder upon….

And, an Interesting chapter in Gita on the same subject:

śhrī-bhagavān uvācha
Idaṁ śharīraṁ kaunteya kṣhetram ity abhidhīyate
etad yo vetti taṁ prāhuḥ kṣhetra-jña iti tad-vidaḥ//B.G 13.2

O Arjun, this body is termed as kṣhetra (the field of activities), and the one who knows this body is called kṣhetrajña (the knower of the field) by the sages who discern the truth about both.

 

Has The mind turned spiritual?

“Spirituality” we use this word very often; donno what meaning we attach when we utter this.

It is as corrupted and over-used as the other commonly used words like love, consciousness, awareness. But here we are using this to describe the experience of something other than our physical & psychological bodies. Okay, let’s leave it at that.

Hmmm…So, do you think spirituality can happen to this ever confused piece of brilliance?

Brilliance? It is. When we call a man successful, maybe the spouse wasn’t really behind that success. It should be his/her mind, isn’t it?

It is this one which observes both the world and the sense organs. It sees through the eyes, hears through the ears, feels through the skin, tastes through the tongue and smells through the nose.

  • It is also the one who feels the utmost pain and unexplainable joy.
  • It is also the one which couldn’t explain its disappearance in deep sleep.
  • It is also the same one who thinks he is bounded or liberated.
  • It is also the one which detests or admires its own creation-the Thoughts
  • It is also the one which sees itself as an object of investigation in meditation.
  • It is also the one who realizes that it is also been observed observing.
  • It is the same one which is seeking freedom from imagined bondage.

It is this mind which turns spiritual and inward. And you can be sure when it stops being that haggering partner, doesn’t do a confused tail wagging, sees no value in purposeless imitation and absolutely no point in embracing identities.

Look, either we embrace ever damn identity or nothing. We err by being selective and the effect of that is us having to choose between joy or distress. If we get what we desire, we are happy that moment otherwise we are sad, right?

Then, do we have a choice?

Absolutely! We just have to stop being selective. Every act that we put up here is learned, isn’t it? So can we not try to build a new habit by practicing to see everything as is. That is what I understand by detachment. And that needs practice.  (Abyasam & Vairagyam).

So ask your mind. Is ‘IT’ willing to turn inward?

From the Internet:

“Rupam drishyam lochanam drig, tad drishyam drig tu manasam; Drishya dhivrittayah sakshi, drig eva na tu drishyate”

                                                           Drig drishya viveka(verse 1) Adi Shankarachaya

“Form is observed, the eye is the observer.  That(eye) is the observed, the mind is the observer.  Mental activities are observed, the witness is the observer.  But that observer is not observed”.

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.

 

 

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.

 

 

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.

namaste_01.jpg

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