The priest (swamiji) at our temple used to tell us the story of a magical “Genie” given to human beings by God. This genie is able to do whatever we ask of it, as long it is kept busy all the time. The caution was, if this genie did not have something to do, it would wander off and cause us problems. So it was given a pole to climb up and down like a monkey until the next need for this genie arises. According to swamiji, this genie is our “mind” and the pole is the inhalation and exhalation of breath. To avoid unnecessary problems and troubles, we were advised to focus our mind on the breath when we were not using our minds.
We hear so many words related to the mind such as conscious mind, sub conscious or unconscious mind, narrow mindedness, mindfulness, mastermind, mind blowing, mindless, remind, never mind, absent minded, mind set and peace of mind. What really is the “mind” and how can we use it to our advantage?
According to Vedic scriptures of Hinduism, sat (truth) or the absolute is that which remains true in all periods of time – the past, the present and the future. From standpoint of the absolute, there is no mind. But the mind is not “asat” (false) or totally non-existent either. Therefore, the mind comes under the category of mithya or an illusory entity. According to these scriptures, human beings have five bodies or koshas which goes from gross to subtler forms or from separateness to oneness at different levels.
- Physical body which is made of matter and is visible.
- Etheric body which is our energy body and can be felt.
- Mind body which is made of thoughts and vibrations. This body is very important because it holds your experiences from this and past lives or psychic impressions which creates our belief systems (samskaras). Whatever happens to us constitutes only 3 to 5 % of our experience but the reaction to the event constitutes over 95% of our present experience depending on our past psychic impressions. As we become more conscious and aware we have more control over our projections and are able to respond instead of react.
- Causal body which is made of wisdom or consciousness.
- Bliss body which is associated with feeling of ultimate peace, joy, love or Samadhi.
When I used to write nursing research papers for medical and nursing science I had to use evidence based practice (EBP) to prove my point. Now a days in practicing various spiritual paths and following many spiritual teachers I am using these practices on myself and thus becoming my own EBP. Here are the facts about mind that I have realized through my own experiences.
- Mind acts like a convex lens for your energy. The convex lens focuses the sun rays and is able to ignite a fire. In the same manner, our mind focuses our energy, gives it direction and gets results. It has an ability to ignite our passions and bring our dreams to fruition.
- “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.”—Napoleon Hill
- Focusing our mind on our breath (prana) increases our energy body or aura.
- Where our mind goes energy follows. Therefore, focusing our mind a certain area of our body that is weak or lacks energy can bring warmth and increase the blood flow to that area. It can open up blockages and help in healing of our organs. Through this process self-healing is possible.
- If we want our body to be healthy, we have to make a regular practice of keeping our mind inside our bodies. For example, if no one stays in the house and cleans it on regular basis it gets dirty, the same thing happens to our body if our mind is constantly outwardly focused.
- Mind = awareness
- Mind is the doer and the experiencer. Mind can be our enemy or friend. It can cause joy or suffering depending on our thoughts and is not always dependent on the situation.
- Focusing our mind on the inner world or True self brings peace, stability and feelings of oneness, while focusing on the outside or material world all the time will bring hyperactivity, restlessness and feelings of separation. Therefore, a daily practice of stillness or meditation is necessary to calm your mind and this also has the potential to become an antidote for anxiety, depression and auto immune diseases.
- “To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders”—Lao Tzu.
- All our reality is projection of your mind. If our life was a movie, our mind acts as the projector powered by light of the soul. Knowing this truth, gives us an opportunity to become a conscious creator by writing a new script and changing what is being projected by fueling it with positive emotions
- .“Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind and nourish with repetition and emotion will become our reality”---Earl Nightingale
- Whatever we focus our mind on –grows. Therefore by practicing mindfulness with can learn to refocus our minds on positive experiences and positive thoughts.
- “The mind is everything. Whatever you think you become”—Buddha.
- A closed mind seals off creativity and growth. The ability to participate in miracles happens when we open our minds to our limitless potential and use our imagination.
- If our minds are open and vast not many things will bother us, just like throwing pebbles in the ocean.
To harness the power of our minds, I feel it is essential to have a mind that is positive, non-judgmental, focused, calm, grateful, sincere and humble.
Even though the mind is considered illusionary by ancient scriptures, it is truly a gift because it has the power to helps us realize the true wealth of health, joy, peace and love by focusing our minds within ourselves.