In the olden days when the electric wires or telephone cables were not buried underground, it was quite an eyesore, with messy entanglements dangling from pole to pole along the streets. One can still see these in third world countries. At times, I do wonder, with so many wires, how the electrician, or any technician for that matter, would know which wire to work on if called upon to make a repair.
He may be electrocuted if he is not careful. He may even unknowingly severe a wire that he is not familiar with, causing problems for others. But usually, they will not make that kind of mistake since they are very familiar with their trade, carefully and professionally working on the wires that need to be repaired even though there may be hundreds of them in the same location.
Likewise, when we are skilled in any area of expertise, we can be certain that we won’t make any mistakes in our work. Getting to know our mind is the same too. In the beginning, we don’t really know what the mind is, though we all know we have a mind. When we first learn to be aware of our mind we just can’t figure out how to notice it and don’t even have an idea how to go about observing it. It is like those entangled wires or cables on the street. There is so much we do not know about our minds.
Like those messy cables and wires, our minds are pretty messed up and cluttered too. Many a times, we are riding on an emotional rollercoaster of sorts, from control freak to being stressed, from compulsions to boredom. Even if there are pockets of happiness now and then, it is always drowned in grasping instead of mental clarity. Do we not notice?
In fact, the mind we have are seriously entangled in views. It is the views that make us different from one another. It is the views that make us confused. But more often than not, those views are what makes us individually unique and separate from another. Though our views may seem true and real to each of us, they are only true because we have not known the mind better. When those entangled views are finally seen for what they are (as the word goes - being straightened), we become extremely clear about our own mind, and realize that the apparent separation between people is just an erroneous projection. Likewise, doubt about ourselves vanishes too since the mind is finally understood correctly. We cannot simply conclude what we experience any more since everything happening in the mind has been seen for what it is.
Because of not knowing our own mind, fear is the domain of our experience, since not knowing always generates uncertainty and fear. When we know clearly what the mind is, uncertainty and fear disappear from our minds.
Like a large storeroom left uncleared for years, messy and confused, that depicts our mind state exactly. When understanding or wisdom shines in our minds through a process of meditative awareness, we soon begin to notice that stresses in our daily lives have nothing to do with what is happening outside of us, rather what is within. Soon each negative state of the mind is clearly seen for what it is, how it arises and how it ceases. Of course, the good states of mind are clearly known too, exactly knowing how they can be developed and then sustained. Only then can one become deeply certain of the mind. Only then one becomes a master of the mind.
Awareness is the antidote to our inner confusion and the wisdom of understanding is the result of it. From a messed up mind to a mind of deep clarity, from uncertainty to right understanding of how the mind really works, from not knowing to finally knowing what the mind is, this meditative journey is imperative for each of us. Nevertheless, the time taken to find out for ourselves, directly, is left to us. The sooner we embark on it, the sooner we realize that ease and peace is always reachable within ourselves.Then it may dawn upon us that "meditation" was never anything religious or even spiritual, but merely a tool to develop the well-being of the mind which we never knew was possible.
Are you ready to know your mind better for the first time after living with it your entire life? Do join us in our new season of Mindfulness – A Starting Point coming up soon in March and in our other activities and classes too. Our classes and activities are designed to support you in your journey of understanding the mind. Are you willing to invest more of your own time in embarking on this imperative journey?