Monday, April 21, 2008

Practicing rescue 911, again and again and again

We all permeate the same field of consciousness. Our being is the universal mind-stage that holds every actor and every prop manifested within it. Yet the on occasion the mind thinks - I am alone, or I don't belong here, or, there are no options, or I am too young/old etc.

One can always count on self deception. In reality, is any character separate from the novelist? Is any one wave independent of the ocean?

Our essence is a pure mind, free of the delusions created by guilt, fear, anger, greed or selfishness - the delusions that dirty the windshield of perception. Our true Self is peaceful, blissful, quiet mind. A mind that has the ability to manifest whatever it wants - to materialize, sustain, edit or delete any storyline at any point.

But how to clean out the dirty filters from the mind? The same way one replaces a dirty Brita filter - by throwing it out and putting a clean one. Patanjali tells us in the Yoga Sutras that "when you consistently cultivate the opposite (positive) thoughts and emotions, the unwholesome (negative) tendencies are gradually destroyed."

Of course, who learns these things in theory? It takes an angry call from the boss, or the news that one of the kids crashed the car, or that someone borrowed your credit card number, etc. Like everything, it's all about practice. Consistent practice.

In the Hindu tradition, Hanuman is a monkey warrior that rescues Sita, a goddess who was kidnapped by a demon who shape shifted as a monk to trick her. The demon symbolizes the "hooks" that trick us into forgetting our true nature. Hanuman, in turn, represents our breath, which is the tool for a "time out". When the breath slows, thoughts slow. When thoughts slow, it becomes easier to observe our feelings and needs before reacting (or not). Sita in reality is getting kidnapped over and over again, but the warrior Hanuman, steadfast in his service, is never too far off.