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A monkey on steroids

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by Viswamitra, Jun 5, 2013.

  1. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    [JUSTIFY]What is Mind? When this question came up a few years back, I went to the teachings of my beloved Guru. He defines mind as “that which makes us feel we are the body and fell things related to the body as “mine”; that which runs out through the senses to the objects, in order to experience the pleasure there from. It is thus rendered very unsteady; always flitting from one object to another.” He also describes it as “an adroit substance and is a conglomeration of thoughts of various kinds; It is just like a cloth, our thoughts are the cotton, the desires which they mold are the threads, and the intermingling and interaction of these desires is the cloth i.e. the mind made out of warp and woof. When the threads (desires) are removed one by one, the cloth (mind) disappears.” He also explains in his teachings that the worldly desires are like seeds that sprouts. If we can visualize the human being as the rice, the desires (s)he has is the husk. If we remove the husk, we prevent it from sprouting. Similarly, the human being when (s)he removes the desires, becomes a real being that she is. The mind when it firmly places our identify as this body, it is known as “Bhavaroga” and the very same mind when it transcends that feeling and understands that we are a divine being, it is the cure for that disease.

    Even though it is difficult for me to comprehend his teachings about the mind or for that matter all of his teachings, being a person who has a nature to analyze everything at length, I keep thinking a lot about my mind and how to control it. There are times, it goes on a tangential thinking process, when my body is doing a mechanical action. Other times, it keeps me so focused on a subject not letting me move one bit from that thought process especially when it wants to celebrate an accomplishment or mourn for a pain that I have experienced. It is interesting to watch how the body and mind work in tandem as I feel the pain in my body every time my mind suffers from stress and when my body hurts, my mind communicates the pain to me loud and clear.

    How do I control my mind? I imagine my mind as a monkey that wants to be active. If it remains dormant, it could cause more problems to me. Therefore, it is important to keep it active. It is not enough if it remains active but it should be trained to focus on everything the body does with due care and diligence. Even if it is trained to be active and focused, it is also important to train the mind not to be complacent for completing the tasks nor feel depressed for failures. We need to train the monkey to remain calm and contented.

    When does it really go out of control? When the monkey is in pain, it humbles itself and initially behaves like a saint in deep meditative state. After that, it reaches out to people and seek relationships and consoling words from others. But when it accomplishes something really remarkable and when everyone else appreciates its action, it behaves like a monkey in steroids. Instead of feeling the sense of fulfillment, it begins to enjoy the appreciation, name and fame it gets. It increases its own expectations. It no longer works for sense of fulfillment and instead begins to work for the appreciation, name and fame it gets.

    Therefore, I have come to the conclusion that the biggest problem I face in controlling the mind is the tendency to seek appreciation instead of doing things for self satisfaction. This thought process has given me a great relief that at least I was able to identify a major problem. Once I find the problem, rehabilitation at least becomes a possibility. How I succeed is dependent upon how I make the mind to behave well and avoid complacency
    [/JUSTIFY].
     
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  2. Srama

    Srama Finest Post Winner

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    Dear V sir,

    it is with a lot of hesitation I write a FB to this post. So please indulge me. I am trying to understand what one means by controlling the mind, wanting to control the mind, seeking enlightenment etc aren't all these desires by themselves? Isn't it the mind's job to be active? Is it the mind that seeks appreciation or is it the heart? Wouldn't it be a good alternative to encourage that observer with in to be more vigilant as an observer so that the mind slowly begins to pay attention to that observer and quietens down? I do think and I know my mind has no control over where it is at any point in time unless that observer appears. It is amazing to see how the mind stops even for a split second when that happens! Just thinking out loud here sir!
     
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  3. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Srama,

    Please don't hesitate to respond to any of my post. I welcome all suggestions, opinions and disagreements. As I believe the mind is nothing but bundle of thoughts, we have no control over them coming from our prior Karmas. But we have the ability to manage them with our discriminatory skills. Therefore, I consider controlling the mind as focusing its attention to actions to be executed on good thoughts and make it achieve equanimity in pleasure and pain. Yes. We need to engage the mind always and it needs to remain active but on good thoughts. In my opinion, it is the mind that demands appreciation and not the heart. Heart is already expansive and our attempt to grow is to expand our mind beyond our focus on body consciousness.

    I believe it is not a question of observer being more vigilant and mind paying attention. It is not even about knowing the difference, not even understanding that we are the observer and the body and mind are merely an instrument that is gifted to us to achieve our goal but it is about becoming an observer by constantly taming the mind. Mind is an all powerful instruments that can take us away to the world or move us closer to our inner Self. So it is the mind that requires transformation.

    This is my humble opinion and please feel free to disagree if you have a different view on this. My knowledge is very limited. I am a beginner and learning things every day.

    Viswa
     
  4. Balajee

    Balajee IL Hall of Fame

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    Doing things for self-satisfaction Viswa has its own dangers. One tends to become self-absorbed and even selfish. As the existentialist thinkers argue, existence is being with others. By getting involved in activities aimed solely at self-satisfaction, we cann be driver to dangerous levels of self-gratification that would pit us against the world and even the laws that govern the society and in fact to the edge of criminality. We must have the wisdom to draw la ine between not bothering about others' appreciation and not giving a damn for them.
     
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  5. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Balajee,

    By self-satisfaction, I don't mean becoming selfish. There is no question that we have to not only coexist peacefully with the fellow beings but also serve them with noble thoughts. What I become motivated by appreciation of others, instead of doing my actions with right effort and skillful, my attention is diverted to the name, fame and recognition. In the process, I begin to compromise the full effort in each action instead prefer to do multiple actions that would bring name and fame. The quality of actions become affected by my mind's desire to obtain appreciation. Sometimes, we have to do actions that are driven by righteousness that are not necessarily popular to the fellow being. In situations like that my mind will ignore doing such actions. Moreover, it increases my expectations many fold. If I don't get appreciation, my mind will decide not to do an action.

    I totally agree with you that we need to serve the fellow beings skillfully, selflessly and lovingly. Only question is whether can we do an action without satisfying ourselves that it is for the right reasons?

    Viswa
     
  6. satchitananda

    satchitananda Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Vishwamitra,

    I am curious about one thing. In fact, to use the mind-monkey simile, my monkey is now fixated only on one problem - dementia/Alzheimer's. You will have to please forgive me for bringing this topic into this discussion.

    However, there is a reason for my doing this. It was this statement that set me thinking:

    Now as we know in patients with this problem, the mind slowly stops functioning - or is it suitable to say it slowly dissloves away? - could it be that these people are in the process of a kind of evolution where they have slowly started losing their desires? In fact they don't even seem to be aware of pain.

    How would you interpret this phenomenon?

    P.S. I know this question seems immensely stupid which it probably is - it appears so even to me - but I still cannot help wondering. So I have to request you to be tolerant towards me and such questions.
     
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  7. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Satchi,

    You raised a very important question about Dementia/Alzheimer's. It is very relevant to the subject I have written about. On this subject, your guess is as good as mine. I have no idea how it impacts the desires of those who are affected by Dementia/Alzheimer's.

    Let us consider your mother as an example in this scenario. She is already a very selfless individual with thought process of God first, everyone else second and me last approach in life. There is no iota of selfishness in her entire life. Obviously, she doesn't need the help of this disease for her to evolve as she is already an evolved person, even if we assume this disease helps a person to evolve.

    In spiritual parlance, there is a big difference between the mind and the brain even though brain plays a significant role in our life. I believe every cell in our body has a mind of its own and that is why when observed, it changes its position as per Quantum Physicists. A collection of all of it is what we call as our mind. Similarly, the spiritual heart is different from our blood pumping heart. It is the one that is expansive and focus on righteousness, truth, love, peace and non-violence. Our intellect (part of the mind) works closely with this faculty to determine the right from wrong. People call it with different names including Consciousness, Constant Integrated Awareness, Mahaakarana, Over Mind, Self-luminous and effulgent, Eruka or Uniki in Sanskrit.

    I feel your mother's mind is as broad as her spiritual heart that draws energy from everywhere and any disease can only affect her brain but not her mind. This effect is only transient in nature and will never affect who she is as an individual.

    I apologize if this is confusing. All I want to convey is your mother is already an evolved person and what you see as change in her is at peripheral level. It doesn't affect who she really is at the individual level.

    Viswa
     
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  8. satchitananda

    satchitananda Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Viswamitra,

    Thanks a lot for clarifying this matter. I have to admit I am still confused. To be honest, I am a still not totally clear about the karana and the sookshma sharira. I will really have to spend more time thinking this out to really understand this, because dementia does not affect the spiritually progressed ...... or does it?????

    So many questions.
     
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  9. BHAVNAM6

    BHAVNAM6 Platinum IL'ite

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    My dear Viswa,

    Once we know how to monitor our mind we have won half the battle then.Our Almighty has given us a tough task to deal with.Evidently HE wants us to succeed in this area. For us to be able to get the clear picture of our divine journey toward HIM, discipline is the only criteria for our mind to follow. STHITPRAGNA is the term vitally mentioned in our Bhagavad Gita.

    Essentially the regular homework in this area is required for our mind to act with proper conduct.

    In my personal opinion, ceaseless introspection does support our mind to achieve self-mastery.Apparently it assists to abstain our mind to wander without direction.

    Although I always feel that meditation is the greatest physical, mental and spiritual exercise which enables to relieve our monkey steroid free.Meditation has power to transform entire system of our body miraculously if performed with adequate training,determination and dedication.

    Do not we wonder often how much pain and misery our saints had in their entire life? Regardless they were in their own world of divine pleasure. Once we surrender everything in HIS hands,our mind leaves the state of restlessness.We get freedom from any kind of recognition whatsoever.

    Lord Krishna is very loving and affectionate. HE wants us to act like an adult when it comes to perform karma. Simultaneously HE wants us to be carefree having childlike qualities to enjoy every moment which come across in our path.In another words HE wants to play a role of a Father protecting HIS children by taking under HIS wings.HIS assurance makes our mind stay calm and composed in any given situation. May be it is for self appreciation or anything else.

    Love,
    Bhavna
     
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  10. Anandchitra

    Anandchitra IL Hall of Fame

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    You have really caught on to something here.. If you note all the people who write here and also everywhere they are really doing it seeking appreciation which strengthens their ego to greater heights.

    You have written well on this topic and makes total sense.
     
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