Tag Archives: #mindful

Trickster Mind

For the last eighteen months or so, I had been on the path to get a new role at work in a different profession. I had gotten a couple of interviews but never made it into the second round. Subconsciously, I lived in a world where I want the role but was never going to get it. Third time around, I made it into the second round – and then actually landed the role.  

You would expect an overabundance of joy from me, correct? I did too. Instead, I had fear or more shock as the primary emotion. I do feel joy in spurts and bursts. I was disappointed because I did not get the role, now I am unhappy because I got the role – which is correct? Neither, the truth is I have got a new role – end of the story. A more profound truth is right now my hands are typing on the keyboard as my eyes watch the bunch of words appear on the laptop screen.

Our minds/egos love the vacillation – they need to identify with something it does not matter what. If you watch your thoughts, you will notice what a turncoat the mind is – Hopes to fear, Rags to riches. It contains the entire collection of the shows you can find on streaming these days. And we get caught up in that story and forget about the space in which the story takes place.

Eckhart Tolle tells a story in one of his talks – In Greece, there was a knotted rope which was very complicated. The story was that the person to undo the knot would be a great person. Many came and tried in vain to untie the knot. Then one young boy came and cut the knot with a sword – rumour has it, he grew up to be Alexander the Great.

Sometimes, the only way to get over the mind stories is through the sword of presence. What does that mean? It is hard to explain it in words, so here are some pointers:

  1. Remind yourself – ‘No thought matters absolutely.’ Be it about job, career, food, family, death, politics – it’s just a bunch of words. Be in the NOW.
  2. Treat your mind like a little child – pat its head and nod politely. You cannot be serious about all that little kids talk about, right? Mindfulness always works.
  3. Focus on breath or body sensations – because it brings you to reality. If it’s not happening now – you are living in the dream (what-if) world. Presence is the key.

Easier said than done. When you are in the grips of the story where your career is going down the drain, it is tough to step out of it and say – ‘It’s just a bunch of words.’ The way to get there is to notice every time it happens, even if it is hours after it happened. Because every time you become aware, you are de-personalizing the mind. The mind is not you anymore at least for that brief second. And then there will come the point when you will laugh at the stories that mind builds up and watch them as they arise and pass.

Trick Question: Which thought of your mind matters absolutely?

Lost In Russian Dolls?

Have you ever seen a new-born baby? For the first six months or so they have no idea of who they are, they are not aware of their legs and arms. One of my nieces used to pull her hair as a baby and start crying – unable to tear her hand and stop the pain.

Babies live in the NOW – there is no concept of past/future or self/I. They do have minimal basic desires and wants like milk/sleep/food. They have no great desires or plans – a baby does not think when I drink milk twenty-four times a day I will become a millionaire or other ridiculous cravings/aversions that we tend to get as we grow up. For the baby, there is nothing except the present moment.

As we grow up, we get to know the mind-based concept of time. And with time comes the need to get somewhere, the desire to meet our plans or the aversion towards something happening. And we leave the present moment and start to live in the future and past. The conditioning becomes stronger.

Another thing that happens as we grow up is our sense of ME. We start creating a picture of who we are, what people should think about of me, what society should think of me? And we go about making that image to our liking. A baby does not think – my dad should think of me as pretty or my brother should look up to me. When we grow up this self-image becomes so ingrained that we are not even aware of it.

The society, media and other factors are all egging us to live in the future/past or create an ‘Ideal self-image’. The TV ad that tells you that if you use their aftershave lotion, you will find love, the news piece about a spiritual coach, the interview with an actor/actress with a so-called perfect body.

Nowhere people tell you that the practically impossible to live in the future or the past. My body is right now sitting on a couch, typing these words in the keypad. I can’t skip to the next weekend – but my mind starts thinking about the following weekend, and I have lost touch with reality. I can think about it all I want – the weekend will get here when it is NOW.

We/our minds keep jumping away from the present moment all the time – into past or future or dreamland. There is nothing wrong with planning. We do not stop at planning; we derive a sense of self from something happening or not happening in the future, which becomes futile.

Like the nested Russian dolls, we have lost sense of who we are or where we are. There is so much depth to the present moment that we never explore because we are so busy looking at the outer covers – its paints, designs. A big part of understanding the depth is the acknowledgement of the inevitable is-ness of the present moment.

Where are you right now?

All The Time In The World

‘I want to meditate and exercise but have no time to do it.’
‘I have so much to do and no time to do them.’
‘If only there were more hours in the day.

Do the above statements resonate with you? Now, have you heard of the quote that time is an illusion? See what Tolle has to say about it.

If what Tolle says is true then how come we are always so crunched up for time? It took me a month of not doing anything to get started on the theory that Time Is Indeed An Illusion. Let me share some of the tidbits with you.

Let’s start with the question – Can you live in the past? Can you live in the future? The obvious answer is no. We can only live in the now – the present moment – what does that mean?

Let’s say you are having a crazy day and you are finishing up writing an email to your boss. And you have to do the meeting minutes from the previous meeting and finish up the financials sheet for your team – and get to the home early so that you can pick up your puppy. The predominant mind chatter at this point – how are you going to get all these things done? But, the only thing you can do right now write that email – other things are just distractions. The quote from Deepak Chopra below sums it up well. It might sound a little paradoxical.

What he is trying to say that most of the time we are not short of time – we are just thinking about being short of time which in turns results in us in losing time – which indicates that we are losing time only in our head and minds and hence it is an illusion.

Time is a man made a construct, we made clocks and calculated the distance from earth/sun and decided that this is how our time management works. Now, to function in this society time is needed but we forget that we invented time. Do not get me wrong; I am not saying that we never plan and show up whenever we want because we have all the time in the world. What I am saying is that we can stop worrying about things in the past or the future and focus on the now – as that is the only place we can live.

And if we manage to live in the moment without thinking about the past and the future and continue that from moment to moment – we will have infinite time. At this moment when I am writing – I am aware of all the zillion things that I have to do before I go to bed, but at this moment I am writing, and I have all the time at this moment to write. And if I entirely live in this moment, then the anxiety of the other things undone does not exist.

Are you in the moment, Now?