The last few weeks have been fairly hectic: I am planning a meditation intensive retreat, I am taking some continuing education classes, my work schedule is changing, the children have a bunch of activities, and I am a little over-extended. So working on a blog post has been demoted on my list of obligations.
But, despite all the busyness, my mind-state has been fairly steady, or ekagra. I attribute this to regularity in my practice.
In the Yoga Tradition, the mind is viewed as an instrument through which we receive information about the sensory world (manas), where we store memories and formulate opinions (chitta), it is where our sense of individuality arises (ahamkara), and where our conscience resides (buddhi)–but, not our consciousness.
The four aforementioned aspects of the mind are collectively called the antahkarana–or the inner instrument. The word “instrument” is so profound. Yoga science expounds the concept that the mind is not who we are; but, a tool, which can be sharpened, to glean a clearer understanding of who we are and what needs to be done to Realize our True Nature.
According to Yoga science, our minds becomes colored by our experiences— think of it as a dusty layer on a window. Therefore, they do not allow the truth to diffuse through. We are colored by perceptions of race, social status, gender, etc. Reflect for a moment on a baby who lacks all of these associations.
Through meditation we wipe off the layers of dust and eventually the clear mind allows the truth to shine through.
But, the mind is only capable of becoming crystalline…
What is the light that shines through the crystalline mind?
Eventually, the mind, like all good tools must be set down. Would you walk around in the house you built clutching the hammer?
Over time, with dedication, consistency, and faith, the mind is set down and total awareness of the Self will shine through.
Until then, tell your mind “thank-you” for all that it does. Do not be angry with your mind for thinking any more than you would be angry with your hand for grasping or your ear for hearing. Ask your mind to be your friend, so that you can dust the lens, and see the world as it truly is.
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