I am sorry that I have not posted here in what seems like a very long time! I am on vacation at the moment and didn’t make the time to sit and write as many blog posts as I would have liked. I do have a little one for you today though! I hope you enjoy it.
I also have a lot of photographs and stories to share with you soon too.
As the New Year’s begun I would like to wish you all a blessed 2013! I have always held new year’s very close to my heart, for the first time in four years I was in Bangalore for the New Year’s Eve and I consider it a very auspicious time filled with so much promise and joy. So, happy new year! May 2013 be filled with joy.
Now, back to today’s post…
One of my goals for 2013 is to begin my journey of purifying and strengthening my consciousness.
To grossly oversimplify, I see it as a two part process; the first part involves removing the badness and the second part is about filling ourselves with goodness. This post is connected to the first part. It is one of the first steps we can take to begin removing the badness from our minds.
Today I want to talk about is a disease of our mind.
Have you ever felt like you were a prisoner of your own thoughts? That you can get sucked into a vacuum of negative thinking, and before you realize it, you have created all kinds of problems for yourself. Our thoughts become bottomless pits that suck us into the darkness. It can start off with a simple “what if” thought, and then it escalates from there. You can have an entire conflict in your mind. You feel all the emotions, you mentally work through all the awful consequences and aftermath. You can even break up with your partner in your mind. And then the following day you try to continue life as normal, but you just can’t. Your consciousness is tainted. You just cannot act and be with this person in a normal way. Everything has changed. Everybody feels it but no body understand it. Your partner has no idea what happened, and you also, do not realize that your uncomfortable and distant relationship with your partner today is because of your thoughts last night.
This disease begins in our way of thinking, it originates in the mind, and if we don’t start to put a stop to it, it will begin to interfere with our lives.
You find it hard to fall asleep because you can’t get away from your thoughts.
You have already imagined your break up, your fears coming to reality, or life after your death.
You have already imagined upcoming potential problems in your relationship (eg. What if he cheats?)
You find it hard to wake up in the morning, even if you had many hours of sleep.
You get offended easily.
You worry about how you are perceived.
You hold a very strong negative opinion against someone.
You regularly think about whether you love your girlfriend or your girlfriend loves you.
You feel lost in life.
You have frequent mood swings.
This is a disease of our mind. When you have this disease we no longer have any peace of mind. Once we get trapped in our thoughts we get sucked into some deep dark place. It is important to remember that you don’t have to be “depressed” to have this disease. It can happen to all of us, even the happy ones. So it doesn’t depend on sadness, it depends on the strength of our consciousness. When our consciousness is weak we lack the ability to choose our focus. When we lack focus in life we start to pull at threads. We pull and pull, taking apart the patchwork of our mind, making it weaker and weaker. As long as we have this disease, we will not be able to find true happiness as we will not be able to recognize it even if it comes and hits us on the face. We will lack the strength, the reason, and the intelligence.
The reason I write about this today is because I realized I have this disease. At times I felt I was just a prisoner of my own mind, submissive to its every demand. It says “Hey Dude, think about this now, and feel bad about it!” and I would be like “Sure, just let me just cancel my prior plans and commitments!” It says “Jump” and I say “how high?”
I have done this for so long that this just felt like how it is supposed to be. That I don’t get any say in the matter. That if a negative thought impulse emerges in my mind, then I must oblige. It’s only recently that I started to feel that it was interfering in my life. That some nights it was difficult to sleep even though “everything was fine” in reality. That it would interfere in my relationships with other people, that if they were at the center of my negative thought – then I just simply couldn’t conduct myself normally around them for a while. That most of my problems were imaginary but felt so, very real. That somehow my maximal happiness level in life had been dulled. That for some strange reason, I could never get as happy as I somehow believed I could be.
So I was lying in bed with my aunt one night and she diagnosed me.
After listening to my symptoms she said quite simply “Ah huh, sounds like you have too much time on your hands.”
Well, for me, this is very true. I must have a lot of time on my hands or else I wouldn’t have so much time to create problems for myself, just for fun.
But I do acknowledge that some people are very busy people, but they can still have this problem with thinking. How is that possible? Well, I believe that these people are busy with the wrong things. They are looking for happiness in the wrong places. When we do this, our mind loses its immunity, and it becomes susceptible to this disease.
So my aunt told me she had this very problem but that around 3 years ago, she made the decision to heal herself from it. And she did. Today she says that her life may not be perfect, but she does have peace of mind.
STOP THINKING ABOUT THINGS TOO MUCH BY GETTING BUSY WITH YOUR LIFE
My aunt told me that an idle mind is the devils workshop. She said she never let’s those thoughts get into her head. If she feels one is being planted, she quickly gets up and gets busy with her life. For her, she uses these thoughts as a reminder that there is work to be done RIGHT NOW that she is neglecting.
We must fill our lives with meaningful duties and responsibilities that we must hold ourselves accountable to. This will build our strength and sense of responsibility. Let your life be filled with so much joy that you simply do not have the time to sit and think of what could go wrong. You have too much to focus on right now.
SLEEP WHEN YOU ARE SLEEPY
My aunt advises against lying in bed for hours trying to fall asleep. What else can you do but think? Instead she suggests reading a book (or any other activities you like to do before you sleep) and then going to sleep when you are tired enough to sleep. If you are living a fulfilling life, working hard every day and fulfilling all of your responsibilities, then you will naturally feel tired at night.
PRACTICE PRESENT MOMENT AWARENESS
Wherever you are, just be there. Try to focus on what is happening around you right now. I noticed that I can even slip into my thoughts in the middle of conversations, or routine chores! Instead now when I feel myself doing that I just gently remind myself to bring myself back into the moment. And in this moment, everything is okay. And something needs to be done.
My concern, and perhaps yours too, was….
“BUT ISN’T IT BAD TO IGNORE PROBLEMS? WON’T THEY JUST BUILD UP?”
No, they won’t. Because they are not real problems. We are just creating them ourselves. And we are just so freakishly good at it that we truly believe that they are real and that we are doing a service to ourselves by thinking about it. Wrong!
So I said “But then some problems in our life are real and they do need some consideration. How do you know what is a real problem and what is a imagined one?”
My aunt said “You will know you have a real problem because it will happen right in front of you. Look, if someone slaps you, you have a problem. You need to think about that and react appropriately. But if you are laying in bed thinking about what if someone slaps you one day, that is not a real problem.”
We have to learn to tell the difference.
Oh my goodness, if you only knew how many problems I have imagined myself into, it would just be a joke! What a relief it is to know that most of my problems in life (perhaps even *gasp* ALL) are imagined.
So I have been trying this for the last week. I found that it isn’t that difficult to stop getting caught in the vacuum as long as you catch the thought early and then distract yourself. What was most noticeable to me was the amount of times I had to make that choice. Now I realize how much time I spent thinking about complete crapola. How much time and energy I invested in ruining my relationships, my attitude, my beliefs, my hopes and dreams, my life!
I also noticed that in the last week, I wake up much less tired than I did before. I don’t necessarily wake up in a better mood, but I do wake up easier. I think the reason I don’t wake up in a better mood is because I haven’t invested my energy into filling my mind with goodness yet, I had only worked on emptying it of the badness.
Making the commitment to do this has changed a lot already. It does require a bit of mind-policing initially, but I imagine that over time it will begin to feel more natural. After just one week I noticed that it is easier than it was in the beginning to tell myself not to follow a negative train of thought.
As I said, it is easier to do this if you catch the thoughts early on. You have to be able to detect even the slightest traces of these imaginary problems as early as possible. If you catch them early, it doesn’t take much effort to distract yourself. But if you allow yourself to dwell, to stew in them, then it becomes very difficult. I’m very happy with how it is going so far. I hope you can find some value from this too!
It feels good to know I am not a slave to my mind. It is a freedom, a young, newborn freedom, but freedom none the less. And it is sweet.
Happy new year homies!
Posted from my iPad