“What have I done with my life!” was the lament of the greatest industrialist who had sought a Past Life Regression therapy with Amarantos!
All his material wealth outweighed the simple truth that Life is not to be measured in the number of years or the millions we’ve made, but the amazing moments that we’ve had. That is also the truth of all those who have been through a Near Death Experience or NDE.
Take a deep long breath and closing your eyes reflect upon a cherished moment of your life! My attempt here is to give you some hints on adding more of such moments to your happy-memories-bank!
When we were living through that memory, we might not have an inkling that it is these moments that are going to be our cherished memories. Plus at the time we would have been completely in the moment with all our being.
Here I invite you to create a paradise for yourself, and by the end of this article, you should have a solid practice which will help you remain there. And when disturbed, find refuge in this “island of peace.”
I am amazed at the common man of these days, under tremendous pressure, aggravated due to the lack of emotional hygiene or self-reflection. Crumpled continuously under the ever-increasing pressure of work, family, bank debts, capitalism. Everyone knocking off their pound of flesh from the pitiable man. The sum total of misery continues to remain the same in spite of the so-called advancement.
Let us play a game! Take a few moments to reflect within, take a deep long breath and observe the first 3 thoughts that cross your mind. These could be psychologically categorized into:-
1. Ruminating – About the past.
2. Worry – About the future.
Bottom line, wanting to be somewhere but not here is what takes us away! Continuously swayed under the burden of the past memories and future worries. Though frail, thoughts are powerful enough to transport us away from the here and now. If we analyze them a little more, we see that the reason our mind is thinking always is because that is what it is designed to do. Similar to how our lungs are designed to breathe.
In numbers, under intense activity, our lungs absorb 3 liters of oxygen per minute from 100 liters of air! The numbers are still higher when it comes to the brain which processes 400 billion bits of information per second but is aware of only 2000 of them. So let us acknowledge the first truth of our mind that it is okay for it to keep thinking always! It is workaholic!
So now coming to why does the mind keep nagging?
In the deepest layer, it is plotting on how to get what it likes and avoid getting into what it doesn’t. As simple as that, from the macro to the microcosm, everything runs on attraction and repulsion. Scriptures call it Raga and Devasha. From the solar system up to the atoms! So this too should be a truth acceptable to us about our brain.
The mind is thinking all the time, it is just that we are aware of it more in meditation. They surface mainly craving for our attention. Like a small child clamoring attention playing tantrums.
By now we have understood the design of the mind, now let us see how the inside creates havoc in our outside.
Decked in the best of clothes and ornaments on their marriage anniversary, a couple dines at an expensive and fancy restaurant in town. Once they are served, the husband starts thoughtlessly hogging on the delicacies, not mindful of the taste, or the ambiance or the pleasant music nor his wife. He might be engrossed in thinking about the report he has to present at a critical board meeting on the following day. While his wife is trying to get his attention and feeling hurt at his pretension of listening. Both are physically there at the dinner table in person but not present. A thread (as is known in computers) starts in the husband’s mind, triggering a nuclear reaction of many more thoughts. He feels disturbed when his wife tries to start a conversation. His irritation goes loggerhead with his wife’s hurt and erupts into an argument about something trivial, marring the pleasant evening.
Unchecked thoughts and feelings have the potential to become death spiral and we should diligently work towards mastering the mind. Letting its interference reduce at will. Like a Master once told me, “I can switch off my mind for 4 hours and can turn it on at will, in the same way as you turn on your computer for work.”
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we too could do that? Let me share two solid practices which have worked for me in enjoying the peace of mindfulness:-
1. Acknowledgement or Mental Noting
1. First sit down comfortably, making a resolve to remain quite for around 15mins.
2. Allow a thought to surface. This could also be intentional.
3. Comment on them verbally, label them as “Useful,” or “Not useful.” Or You can number them, maybe sit to count up to 100 thoughts! Or you can imagine a Mind Palace and a trash can, send the useful thoughts into the Mind Palace and trash the not-useful ones!
You can be as creative as you wish, this is like using a thorn to remove another thorn, using thoughts to train the mind which is nothing but a bundle of thoughts.
Be gentle and non-judgemental about yourself. If the mind wanders, bring it back like you would train a little puppy.
The principle of thought is that once you have acknowledged it by either saying this is useful and not or numbering them, we gain mastery, diffusing the charge. Allowing us to go deeper to the source of these thoughts and remain unswayed by them. It is like defanging a poisonous snake.
2. The above is when we have some time for ourselves during meditation, but we should also learn to live through the day in such a way that it is conducive to our meditation. When we wake up after a deep sleep, our mind is relatively calm with very few thoughts. But as the day goes by, it gradually gains momentum. Compounding the speed. What seemed like a heavily loaded lazy old truck to start with, by the end of the day rushes through like a bullet train. If we curb this acceleration at regular intervals it would allow our mind to remain centered and balanced. You could do this by having an hourly chime on your phone or watch. I use a chrome Mindfulness bell, which is a free Chrome extension which you can install. It can be set to alert you at regular intervals.
As we practice these disciplines, our addiction to thoughts reduce. We realize that we are beyond the mind. Our mind loosens its grip on us and we can be more and more anchored in our Self, which is nothing but pure joy and light.
Leave your comments below if you have any doubts or queries.
If you have been able to practice this successful, let me know and I will send you the advance practices for free.
Happy mind watching!