HOW TO CALM THE MIND?
ANYONE WE CAN LEARN FROM IS A FRIEND
The trouble with man is imagination and exaggeration. Most of the ills people suffer from really are imaginary. There is no real foundation; with imagination and thought power, we create them and bring surface reality. All illnesses stem from the mind, and then we start exaggerating. You have a slight headache, and you keep on to yourself, “Oh, I have got a headache, headache, headache.” You are exaggerating that headache. You are not helping it. Occupy yourself in something worthwhile, and that headache is forgotten. It goes away by itself.
So, get away from imagination and especially from negative imagination. Imagination plays its part in creativity, but with a more significant majority of people, it also plays a greater role in producing negativity. These are the things that one has to watch out for. Love thine enemy — that is a gross exaggeration. For whom is your enemy? We think he is our enemy, but if you look deeper, perhaps you can learn so much from the very so-called wrong acts of that person, and anyone from whom you can learn something is a friend.
THE MIND SHOULD BE USED AS AN INSTRUMENT IN PROPER ANALYSIS
It is crucial to how you look at things and always to be alert. Alert and aware of all the happenings around you, and to interpret those happenings in a reasonable, godly manner. If the attitude is correct, you can view everything in the context of the scriptures.
Say my wife leaves me. It will hurt for a day or two. It might hurt a bit longer. But will I wallow in that hurt, or will I see the opportunity in the adversity? It might be good if she is gone away for a little while so I could sit down and be in solitude and think. Think of the rights and wrongs, sit down with a pen and a piece of paper, and write down the debit and credit sides, and you will be surprised how wrong you have been. We are always blaming others, never ourselves. But while she is away from you, you can sit and think objectively in that solitude.
We always blame others for many reasons: because we live a false life. We are not ourselves. We live a life of what we assume to be and not being what we are. So, the mind should be an instrument, not an obstacle. It should be used correctly in proper analysis, and these analyses are necessary. And if you cannot do it yourself, perhaps you go to a qualified psychologist. They also serve the purpose because they are not involved in your emotions. They can look at you objectively and help you along. So, self-analysis, self-effort, and spiritual practices draw Gurushakti or the power of Grace, and the world is okay. Nothing is wrong with the world; only something is wrong with people. That is all.
WE HAVE TO REMOVE THE VEILS ONE BY ONE
Speaking from an individual standpoint, you cannot change this world collectively. There have been many reformers who came to earth and tried to reform the world collectively. But it is impossible. Some transformation can take place individually, for it is the units that compose the whole and not the whole composing the units. Therefore, if every person follows these elementary principles: seek balance, be yourself. Take things for what they are, and you develop acceptance. These are the things that bring you joy, for joy too is a process, and if we have the idea that we can change the world or ourselves overnight, it is a fallacy. It is a gradual recognition of our authentic Selves. The veils have to be removed one by one.
Sometimes, you get fed up as you remove the onion skins. The vapour gets your eyes. You say, “Oh, why must I have these onions?” That is how, if a person lives his life, everything is alright with me, Jack. You are okay. I am okay. Everything is okay. These attitudes have to be developed, not for the sake of benefitting the world, leave that to the teachers, they will do as much as they can, but talking individually, for yourself only. How can I become more and more happier? How can I become more and more harmonious with myself? How can I become more and more integrated within myself? That is what we need.
SPIRITUAL INJUNCTIONS MUST BE CARRIED OUT SPONTANEOUSLY
This is an affluent country, yet you have a few million unemployed people. It does not make any logic; it is terrible management and bad government where jobs and things are not created, and human potential is not drawn out. It is not only here; it is everywhere. America itself is such an affluent country, and yet people live under the bread line, while so much food is wasted here that it could feed another small country every day of the year. So much is wasted. Look at the imbalance. So, affluence can bring imbalance, and poverty can bring imbalance. These forces are always there. They will always be there, and we can do nothing about it.
You change governments. Today, you have this one; tomorrow, you have that one. But basically, nothing is going to change. You get tax relief, saving two hundred dollars for the year or five hundred dollars according to your income. You save that. But you are not going to keep it, that I promise you. You will say, “Ah! Five hundred dollars less to pay, so let us go out and have a party!” You usually are used to wearing a twenty-dollar dress. So, ah, you will save this year, so you buy a fifty-dollar dress.
And meanwhile, you have been used to wearing a twenty-dollar dress all your life. I do not know the prices here; I am just using figures. So, what are you saving? Nothing at all. But if the relief received from the government can be used usefully. Look, I am saving five hundred dollars in taxes, so let me take a hundred of it and give it to some institution that needs it, that has been crippled but wants to keep on going because something good is being achieved. Something good is being done. Then, you would be saving for yourself. Then your store becomes filled. Yes, then you are laying treasure for a higher dimension of life. That you are saving, not by having a party.
A man won fifty thousand pounds in a lottery. So, he gave notice where he worked, and then he was without work. Now, he was idle. He was doing nothing. With no job, so what would he do? Parties upon parties. In the evenings, he went out, had a party, and used plenty of money. He had a few drinks too much, and the following day, he had a headache. So, he took the hair of the dog that bit him and started like that. Has that prosperity benefitted him? He is a good meditator today. His life is transformed. He blew the fifty thousand pounds in one year and was on the verge of insanity because he could not digest it. He could not digest that affluence, that prosperity. He was not ready for it. But if he had that inner strength, he could have done something with it. He could still have kept on his job because idle hands are the greatest mischief makers, as we know, and he could have done something without work. In adverse or reasonable circumstances, if we keep our sanity, nothing can hurt us. That is the only way that spiritual injunctions can be carried out. If spiritual injunctions are to be carried out, they must be carried out spontaneously by drawing from the inner source of power, from the internal start of Light. Then only are spiritual injunctions valid. If you force yourself into doing “thou shall not,” you only repress certain things within you, which will sprout up again. But it could be sublimated. It could be converted into energies used in a different field. The same power is used differently, which would be positive and helpful to yourself and perhaps to those around you.
WE CALM THE MIND THROUGH ACTION
So, the idea is to work, work, work. That is the idea. We keep the mind occupied in action, and do not let it just smoulder away in mental activity – but in action. Activity is the nature of the mind; as with anything else, the mind will not stand still; it will forever be active. A thought will repeat itself over and over again. And then, with that, negative thoughts are being bred.
To get rid of negative thoughts, to use that as an example, we must get into some action. Not mental activity but actual effort, which will automatically eliminate the negative thoughts in the mind because your mind is occupied with something in acting rather than just thinking. That is how the mind becomes calmer.
If you do not need to earn money, there are other actions: take up sculpturing, carpentry, and shoe repairing. Whatever. Action, act, act, act. That is how the mind becomes calmer.
We make the mind calm through action, which might sound diametrically opposite, but that is how it works. So, those that work or do not work get involved in some work, whatever it is. It is not essential. You will then find a greater joy, a greater happiness. Then, life is useful instead of just drifting through it aimlessly.
EVERY ONE OF US HAS BEEN BORN FOR A PURPOSE
We are not drifters. Every one of us was born for a purpose. Our work has been allotted to us: to learn from life, for life is the greatest school, but if we do nothing about it, we will not understand, and we will not better this world, regenerate this world by chucking up all our work and responsibilities. Thy Kingdom come. It is excellent. But “Thy Kingdom” will never come collectively or as a whole. “Thy Kingdom” will come in my Heart, where that Kingdom comes from. To find that peace, that joy within us is what we all want and which we are all destined – because it is all there already. We just need to unfold it through action. We just require the uncovering of joy by action, by looking after our responsibilities, and perhaps at the same time do some selfless service for others, even if it gives you little mental satisfaction, it is still worth it.
This is calming; it takes off the rough edges and makes things smoother. When you do something good, it gives you an uplifting feeling. Act, act, act!
It does, although it might not last long, but keep doing it. So, when the uplifting feeling of one act starts diminishing, do another act and feel uplifted again. And when that becomes spontaneous to you, we are always uplifted. These are the little tricks of life. Little tricks that one has to do and perform in action. And life becomes smoother and more joyous.
THERE IS SOMETHING GOOD IN EVERYTHING
If I need a job and sit at home, I can do all my spiritual practices and meditations from morning until night; it will not bring me a job. It is not going to fall in my lap. I am going to go out and knock on doors and have interviews, and once you attune your mind to that, you will find opportunities created. It is your mind that creates the opportunities. Your mind attracts whatever you want.
Anything that is done half-heartedly, nothing could happen, that we know. With a full Heart, I need a job. I will find one, and who says I cannot find one? Two hundred and thirty million people in America are working. How could they find jobs and not me? You can. Any person can do that. At first, a thing might seem unsatisfactory, but with the right attitude, you will see it become satisfactory. There is always something good in everything. So, with the right mental attitude, we will be satisfied if we lead our minds to the goodness in things.
… Gururaj Ananda Yogi: Satsang US 1980 – 33