Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Free Your Mind

I got this in an e-mail today.  Makes sense.

A Letter from Deepak

Dear Friends,

Do you love your mind? I’ve never met anyone who did.

The mind is the hardest part of ourselves to love because we so often feel trapped inside it, at the mercy of a host of uninvited guests – the fear that roams the mind at will, the dark depression that takes up residence and refuses to leave, the anger that blows through the circuits and ignites in turmoil.

Ancient cultures recognized the mind’s restless, unreliable nature. In India, the most common metaphor for the mind is the wild elephant, and in Buddhism, the mind is compared to a monkey peering out through the five senses. Monkeys are notoriously impulsive, liable to do anything without notice.

To cope with the frustrating antics of the monkey mind, the vast majority of people try to tame it – but that method never works. The mind is wild because we try to control and confine it. The solution is counterintuitive: To experience peace and calm, we have to free the mind.

When it is free, it settles down and becomes a channel for peace. In freedom, our thoughts and impulses flow in harmony with what is right and best for each of us.

How, then, can you set your mind free? The first step is understanding that your mind traps itself by spinning an elaborate story about who you are and what you believe, and then fiercely defends that story. Observing this human tendency, the philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau wrote, “Man is born free, but everywhere he is in chains.”

The most common story the mind tells is that you are your ego, a fixed “I” that is separate from the rest of the world. If you believe this story, it keeps you in bondage. The ego is limited, subject to fear, and consumed with the idea that it has to know what is going to happen in order to feel safe. The truth is that we don’t know what is going to happen. Really feeling safe, peaceful, and content comes from knowing that your true self is pure spirit, unbounded in time and space.

When you know the real you isn’t inside your head, you have been set free, like awareness itself. Embracing the wisdom of uncertainty not only frees you from the ego’s illusion of control, it puts you right in the middle of the joyful flow of cosmic creativity. That is a much more enjoyable place to live life.


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