If you ever feel lonely, please know that you’re never alone.
You thought that am about to say that God is always with you? Na! Am not:). Well..God is always within, yes, but today am referring to our very active friend… (or enemy) – our mind.
It’s always here but we don’t always see it. We are often so entangled in our own thoughts, engaging with the mind that we fail to become aware of the party it’s constantly throwing. It’s like being unaware of a party being thrown in your own house! Have you ever felt so overwhelmed by your thoughts of anger, anxiety and misery that you felt trapped? I have. In fact, I used to feel so almost everyday until I figured out that if we gain awareness of the mind and its thoughts, we can rise above it at our own will.
You see, the mind is always active and it’s either actively thinking about the past or about the future. And we may all be familiar with the fact that the mind is expert at planning and scheming. But if we are entangled in the mind, we may be completely oblivious about what’s happening. Hence, the first step is the realisation that the mind is always active. It will talk. Constantly. The mind’s job is to move, to think and help keep us alive (hopefully;)).
However, the true wisdom is in knowing that we don’t have to believe the mind. Often what happens is that we are so deeply attached to our own mind and thought patterns that we refuse to make a commitment towards change. The constant misery of the mind provides great comfort. Have you noticed how good it feels to whine and complain? It makes us feel important. Significant. But a dear friend of mine made me realise the truth and depth of Swami’s teachings.
My most vulnerable yet key transformational moment was when I realised that I didn’t have to listen to anything my mind told me. Nothing at all! The mind constantly makes us believe that thoughts are real. It disguises simple thoughts into facts, and even when all is going well, it will try to lure us into negativity. But the key is to witness and be aware of the mind but firmly refuse to believe any story.
The mind constantly comes up with scenarios and plans. For example, we may receive a rather straightforward email from our boss on a Monday morning. And the fact that the email is to the point and quite dry, kicks the mind into motion. It starts worrying about what we may have done wrong to receive such an ‘unfriendly’ email and starts scheming and planning about our future interactions later in the day. We plan our behaviour, we plan scenarios and we scheme mindy scripts.
Or, let’s say you’re invited at your mother-in-law’s place on Diwali. You watched Swami’s live session, soaking in His wisdom and due to your usual daydreaming habit, it took you a couple of hours to get back to reality. By the time you realise it, you’re already running late. You’ve barely reached the highway (speeding (il)legally) and the mind has already started scheming and planning about the excuses you can come up with. Your car and your mind are both speeding as you start contemplating about her past behaviour (angelic or otherwise:)) and the rest is history!
But here’s the sad thing. During our scheming and planning, we also end up judging the other person before anything even happens! By the time the future meets us, we’ve already insulted, judged and felt a sea of negative emotions towards the other person. And all that happened in our mind alone.
Taking a step back from the mind, heightens our awareness. When we feel overwhelmed, if we return to the present and simply witness the mind, it helps us go a long way. Refusing to pursue thoughts genuinely brings us immense peace. Try it for a few days, observe your mind when you remember. If you find yourself thinking about the future, become aware of the nature of the thought and where it’s going. It’s leads to a mind-blowing realisation.
And magically after a few days we become familiar with the planning and scheming nature of the mind and then my friend, it’s a matter of time until the mind is annihilated. How to rise above this unruly mind? I’ll write about the tricks I use soon. Needless to say, I am sharing nothing new and anything in my post only comes from applying the teachings of our amazing Swami G. Did I say He is amazing?
Have you noticed any scheming and planning instances in your own daily life? Please do share…
But if you don’t, it’s okay… I’ll scheme and plan a comeback for next time!:)