Any journey we take needs to begin now and from here. This point, when made correctly, takes the focus away from past psychological realities and into a place where there are expanded possibilities, moving forward. Notice that we never say “it brings you into the present moment”, because you were never in a place other than the present moment. Being ‘present’ simply means not letting our psychological thought-processes overshadow experiential reality.
Our mind and it’s constant moving toward power and pleasure are what got mankind into a situation where we are constantly being manipulated by our own mind and its fears and desires. This in turn leads us to manipulate others.
It is one person’s love of diamonds that leads to another’s hunger. Humans are the only animals who hoard endlessly. Perhaps, this is because, as a result of genital dis-ease and the values instilled in our being by modern religions, intimacy is no longer free, and are we are unconsciously gathering power in the pursuit of instinctual pleasures?
The mind has power over us because we identify with it. We are NOT the mind, but rather the knower of the mind. We are that which is aware of the mind. Every pedal on the mind is just an accelerator. It is therefore not possible to stop or still the mind. The only option one has is to use one’s awareness and rise above the mind to a witnessing consciousness, which is able to watch thoughts and desires as they arise. Once we are rooted in this awareness of not being the mind, we are no longer wagged around it. The monkey mind loses its power over us, as we are no longer running along with it. And soon, the mind ceases to move, as it is no longer fueled by our identification with it. This is the essence of all Zen, Yogic and Advaita teachings. Eastern traditions have studied consciousness for eons, but never developed the science of psychology as the seers had recognized it – that one must rise above the mind in order to gain power over it. Our mind is a tool, but what use is a tool that does not follow instructions and directions from its user or master?
Have you set the intention of having a good time in this life? So, what is holding you back? The ultimate answer lies not in unfulfilled needs, but rather, in the constant desires that are fueling these needs.
The mind seems to turn due to many different reasons, some of which are the following:
Fear of certain emotional states and experiences: There is no experience without the experiencer. So all that can happen to you only happens if you are there. Every emotional state that occurs, arises and subsides in our own being. So, do we really need to expend so much effort trying to protect ourselves from certain emotions and experiences? Is this effort truly going to protect us from feeling certain emotions, or will what is meant to happen, occur regardless of our best efforts?
Desires: We have had enough of both the pleasant and the unpleasant; now we just want to drop this bag and go beyond the present dimensions of existence. Desires are necessary for the process of life to take place. Desires are just what is needed for this situation, and once we reach this awareness of no longer being identified with our desires, we can attain what the Buddha described as “desirelessness”. Just accepting everything is ‘desirelessness’. We can be deeply involved with everything, but still not be identified with it anymore.
Humans run around with their mouths open in the rain, trying to quench a thirst, while a well lies within. All external catalysts simply bring us to a pleasant state within. The yogic pratyahara process of turning the outward-bound senses inward enables us to bring fulfillment to our lives, like never before.
Humans, everywhere, are always looking for a little bit more, regardless of the currency used. We all want more money, cars, power, pleasure or whatever else. Yogis, for centuries, have attributed this constant need for expansion as coming from our ability to recognize and know our unbounded nature.
The word ‘religion’ comes from religere, which means to rejoin or reunite. Religion is simply reuniting with the source that keeps us alive.