We often say to some people when they don’t behave according to our command, “Are you out of your mind?”. Now, what does mind mean? Many ancient sages and spiritual seers tried to explain it in their words but still, the mechanics of mind will always remain elusive. I have prepared a small poem in the glory of the Mind
Your feathers are ready to swallow the sky
Your legs are ready to conquer the earth
Your body is swifter than the wind
Your Nature is adaptive as water
Your fiery grace is shining like fire
You are the primal god manifest, and in your womb contains all the infinite manifestations of the divine!
In a simplified way, the structure of the mind is built by different types of thoughts. Thoughts consist of different imagery and sounds that are driven by memories. The most important element or we can say the fuel of the mind is ‘desire’. Mind is an important tool to help us navigate in this 3-Dimensional world. In yogic lore, it has been said that ‘Mind was the first god’. Mind is the manifestation of the unspeakable. In Hindu tradition, it has been said that ‘Om’ was the first sound that emanated from the unspeakable lord. From that instance, all this gross world manifested. A bunch of thoughts built up a mind. As the ultimate had his first thought of creation, similarly we also have thoughts going on continuously in our mind. Thoughts are the raw material of the mind. It is also said that “ As you thinketh, so you are”.
Mind is married to Matter in a complex union. For example, when an external environment triggers havoc in our inner environment, we start generating thoughts. And afterward, these thoughts affect our body and in a fraction of a second, the body starts to feel emotions(Energy in motion). For Example, how we tend to salivate just by seeing a photo of some tasty doughnut. The mind influences the body in a fraction of time. Mind and body are so happily married just like water and salt in saline water.
The nature of the mind is just like a mirage. Just as a mirage shows its evidence when we see it from a distance, but when we come close to it, it simply disappears. Similarly, the mind when sought in meditation, when we look for it deeply, it disappears. When we say to people to ‘’use your mind’’, it means to use your personal solidified filter of thoughts to make sense of the present situation. The mind is known and we are always interpreting the unknown and mysterious life situations and try to tackle them with the known faculties. When we wear blue shade sunglasses, we see the world in a blue shade. Similarly, when we wear orange sunglasses, everything appears in the shade of orange. So did the natural colors emitting from the world change? No, only the change in color of shades made the whole world appear different. Similarly, all situations in our life are neutral. Only the mental attitudes whose building blocks are constructed by specific beliefs, different people look at the same situation differently. For example, If someone steals our wallet, one person might get very angry and say, “I will kill the thief who stole from my pocket”. While some other person’s attitude would be entirely on the other polarity. He would say something like, “Ok, my wallet has been stolen, I got an opportunity to purchase a brand new wallet!”. Same situation, but different approaches depending upon the filter of the mind.
The mind likes routine. A mind is a divine tool provided to us to carry on our daily activities. But when the mind becomes the master, then hell is not so far. Heaven and hell are two different states of mind. In the famous treatise known as Dasbodh, saint Ramdas has said that
“Mind is the fraction of atman, space is the fraction of brahman”
The mind takes the shape of our desires, the Mind is desire! The tranquility of the mind is inversely proportional to the intensity of a desire. The hidden powers of the mind are invoked by authority. Some people need an outer authority to invoke their inner authority(the self) while some people believe in themselves at such extremes that no outer authority is needed.
All the efforts of the East were to develop techniques to calm the mind. Because when the disturbed puddle is left alone, it shows its true nature as the dust settles. There are many spiritual techniques to calm the high currents of the mind. The two most simple and my favorite techniques I used are
- Mantra Meditation
- Breath Awareness Meditation
Both of these techniques are so simple that You can start doing it right away without further guidance. Still, I will explain in short how to do both of the techniques.
- Mantra Meditation
The word Mantra can be divided into two components:- ‘Man’ means the mind and ‘tra’ means to go beyond. Mantra is nothing but a syllable that is designed to invoke the lord’s power. There are many ancient mantras or specific syllables which were used for varied purposes. You can choose any mantra of your choice which represents a deity that is your favorite. Now the mantra acts as a tranquilizer. Mantra is a thought repeated in our mind to remove or replace other thoughts which are making us anxious and worried.
- Choose a deity that resonates with you.
- Choose its associated mantra.
- Chant it loudly (If you are very energetic) or else chant it slowly (if you are less energetic).
- Use a rosary.
- Chant it with full faith and conviction.
2) Breath Awareness
This technique is the most powerful technique I have come across. It’s so simple that people can reap the benefits instantly. The steps are
- Get comfortable in an armchair or sit down
- Close your eyes and just follow the breath
- Follow the breath as it goes inside and outside of your body
- Trace its path and move your awareness through it
- If thoughts come to your mind, don’t get angry, just bring it back to your breath
- Meditate without expectations
I tried to simplify and condense some essential thoughts of mine. Hope you liked it. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section.