Sunday, August 17, 2014

Training the mind - 6

Limestone trellis, support for a time
Awaiting seedlings vibrant with life
At a hill’s side, a lifetime’s siege
There is no ease, threatened by disease

For those unfortunate people living in present day conflict zones, the principles of disease prevention is a luxury they can ill afford. They are more preoccupied with existential thoughts. Faced with the immediate threat of atrocities committed by minds that are the breeding grounds of hatred, intolerance and violence, survival mechanisms kick into high gear. For the lucky ones living in relative comfort in safer areas of the world, preventive measures against ill health are more of a necessity, to combat the fear of disease which could easily cut into their otherwise happy lives. In both these scenarios, the common theme is fear, the former group of people fearing outer enemies and the later living in fear of an inner enemy. In each of the two instances, the mind is the common area where the conflict originates. The outcome of this fear is a restless mind. A restless mind is ill equipped to deal to with the ever changing world. It clings to a concept of permanence that is as illusory as the spokes of a wheel giving the appearance of being stationary while the wheel is in motion.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Training the mind - 5

Emerging from a watery world
Disappearing into a dusty grave
Battles conceived in mountainous lairs
Winners and losers, mirages on low ground

The apostles of peace in the last hundred years, including Martin Luther King, Jr, Mahatma Gandhi and The Dalai Lama all stood for one principle, non-violence. Gandhi defeated colonialism through the power of restraint, not religion or rockets. Martin Luther King Jr. fought for social justice through words, not weapons. The Dalai Lama continues his fight for the independence of his people though the power of love and moderation and not missiles. All three of them are human beings just like everyone else. Their greatness lies in how they used their minds. They expected nothing for themselves, yet they gave a lot despite their hands being empty of wealth and power.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Training the mind - 4

A sticky glue
Trapping invisible ink
Seeking heaven and shunning hell
Scripting a journey by roll of dice

Life is one long sticky road. The mind is stuck with either the notion of happiness or unhappiness. Just as the evening sky morphs into the night sky, which in turn changes in the the morning, there is no period of time when a sense of happiness or unhappiness is absent from the mind. Just as light from the sun changes the color of the sky, thoughts can change the prevailing mood in the mind. The sky does not change, and the intensity of sunlight does not change, but it is the movement of the two relative to each other that changes. The interaction of mind and thought may be considered similarly. The subconscious mind is an infinite storehouse of thought and an endless chain of thoughts from the subconscious travels into the conscious realm. Each thought in the subconscious mind has a 50-50 probability of nudging us toward a more happy or a less happy state. Faced with this uncertainty in the quest for happiness, the conscious part of the mind tries to increase the odds of success by turning to the outside world. Through the senses, experiences are selectively sought to enhance the sense of happiness. This approach would work if the mind is satisfied with one object and that object remains unchanged with time. However, the mind is never satisfied with one object and everything external is subject to change.