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Do you know that in the blink of an eye, a thousand thoughts are released in our minds? Yet, only one gets processed in our conscious mind and the rest are lost in the subconscious mind? These thoughts become feelings, emotions, desires, fantasies or multi-realities. As a result, we make impulsive decisions, communicate poorly and create stressful situations for ourselves. Instead of mastering our minds, our minds and thoughts master us.
I’ve learned that in a Kundalini Yoga class. If you don’t know of this type of yoga, it’s known as the Yoga of Awareness as taught by the Indian Master Yogi Bhajan. It is an ancient system which uses several techniques and focuses on the balance and clarity of the mind.
Kundalini Yoga teaches many techniques but the simplest I’ve come to appreciate are meditation and breathing.
Just like a daily shower to clean the body, meditation cleans the mind. Most of us lose our focus because our mind drifts and becomes unconscious with daydreams and unintentional thoughts. Meditation clears the subconscious and helps keep our clarity. And just as sun is energy, breath is life. Its depth, rate and pattern are correlated with our moods and level of energy. So breathing can be used to change them.
If you’ve never tried it, meditation can be intimidating. How do I usually meditate? It’s really as simple as sitting alone in a quiet place where there are no distractions. I like to turn on relaxing music and sit in the traditional cross legged posture, but any comfortable position will do as long as the back is straight. I close my eyes and focus on my breath, letting go of all thoughts and worries with every exhale, until the mind is clear and calm.
You should try it! Because in meditation, you begin to realize that there is a world of your mind and a world of your own. In your world, in your identity, you are in control. And only when you are in control, your mind, which can be a beast of its own, is tamed and forced to be your servant instead of your master!
Do you find yourself easily irritated? Do some people just drive you crazy??? Maybe it’s that person driving 5 miles per hour under the speed limit, the fact that some co-workers love to heat up fish in the microwave or maybe it’s how your mother-in-law always finds something to whine about.
Deep inside, we feel these people are just violating common sense and therefore must be incompetent! As our fury accumulates overtime, our subconscious mind constructs this mental figure of ourselves as invincible superior beings.
Until one day when you’re driving home and your phone vibrates. You find yourself checking your messages and then notice you’re going 5 miles under the speed limit as an irritated driver passes you. You hide as that mental figure comes tumbling down. You realize, you’re just a regular good old stupid human being!
OK…(dramatic DJ backspin) that’s not really where I was going with this. Buuuuut….the last paragraph does have a point: No one is perfect or at least at all times : )
What I’m really trying to get to is this.
Sometimes, we get so caught up being irritated with the people around us or other contributing factors in our lives — could be silly annoyances like ones mentioned above or things on a deeper level — that we lose focus. We lose sight of our purpose. We find ourselves complaining and not really doing much else. Our mind can be a beast of its own; instead of patiently accepting reality, it acts spontaneously and independently shifting us away from our path. We need to learn how to tame this beast. Instead of letting it distract us with all that nonsense, we need to guide our mind back to our chosen path.