Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Unshakable Mind

Sthitaprajna - one whose mind does not waiver under any circumstances. The Gita talks about such a person as being established in God. The Buddha talks about being at peace even when there is turmoil around. I often get the opportunity to test this aspect of my mind. Some latest developments in my life have proven that even if my mind gets shaken when there is turmoil, if I make a conscious effort not to let my mind wander too far out I can rein it in. I have learnt a great lesson in forgiveness. I find that guilt is a function of my capacity to forgive myself first and foremost. I am a spiritual being in human form and so human characteristics - faulty by nature - will raise their heads. Each time I can recall my spiritual self to forgive my actions, learn from mistakes and move forward a few moments earlier than the previous time.

Actions and words I would normally have considered a personal affront even a few years ago now seem to be reflections of the mind of he who affronts. I understand that in this physical realm there is no absolute truth. Truth is a perception just as a lie is and is completely dependent on the state of mind of the interpreter. When I say something as simple as 'I love you,' it can have different connotations. My intent may never be perfectly understood. The way I can avoid conflict of opinions is one, by being as silent as possible in my mind- speaking as little as possible and refraining from expressing an opinion if I have formed one; two, by being accepting of all and knowing that their opinion is inconsequential. One may look upon me as a beast and another as a God - this does not change who I am. It is only the beholders perception of me - it may be their truth for that moment but it is far from the absolute truth and can therefore change in a moment.

Evil is only good gone bad. The base of every action is inherently good. I commit no sin knowingly. If I feel a twinge that what I am about to do is wrong - I stop - I only continue when I have justified to myself that what I am about to do has merit. That is the dichotomy that most of us find ourselves in dealing with this world of dualities. There are multiple aspects to everything. It is only that thought that comes from the depth of the spirit that can escape this dichotomy. The depth of the spirit lies in an unshakable mind. That mind which is unaffected by the ups and downs that are occurring in the world of dualities. Only when I can take every moment as an event that is independent of me can I keep my mind stable. Dishonesty, insincerity, lies, and other negative characteristics are the perception of a judgmental mind. Unless I can keep my mind from judging everything and everyone every moment I cannot develop a stable mind. I can be non-judgmental only when I develop compassion and love for my human nature and that of everyone else around me. I am not right or wrong - my thoughts or actions are. These thoughts and actions are my ego establishing itself over my Spirit. Where ego reigns Spirit is only the observer but where my Spirit is supreme, ego becomes a non-entity. An ego that functions only as a tool to make living in the human form possible and not as the ruler of this human form is the ego of a stable mind. Unless I am keenly aware and ever watchful of the ego it begins to rule my life and shakes my mind.

I was sent a Buddha quote today that talks about an insincere, evil friend being more dangerous than a wild beast for where a beast only harms your body the other harms your mind. I am sure that there is a lot more to this than appears on the surface. For one, insincerity and evil cannot be applied as adjectives to friends and secondly the Buddha talked a lot more about the inner world than about the outside one. I am my own friend or enemy depending on the relationship I have developed with my mind. If I let my mind waiver at the slightest turmoil I am my own enemy, insincere to my spirit and therefore negatively influencing my inner peace. It is only when I am unshaken by anything that is happening around or within me that I am my friend, loving, compassionate and therefore maintaining my inherent inner peace. The Buddha was born into luxury and was raised in opulence - he chose to suffer and survived only because he recognized his own stable mind a long time before he left the material world. His was not a mind that rose and fell because of the opinions of others. Only when I have established this stability can I excel spiritually. I am not there yet - but am on a path that is leading me there.

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