Do You Direct Your Mind Or Does Your Mind Direct You?

Yogi Bhajan

Reading by Liz Helgesen (Download file)

Awakin FeatureYou have to have an exotic sense of tolerance no matter what anybody does, what they say, how they attack you, what they want out of you -- you remain calm. That is the faculty of the ocean—how many rivers flow into it? Remain calm, quiet and peaceful.

There is one thing we all have in us and that’s called mind. The job of the mind is thinking. It plays the human energy into many directions. That’s the duty of the mind. It is given for watching the entire presence of the human and how a human can progress. It does two things. It gives a man power to penetrate and also, it destroys a man’s power of penetration. It is both ways.

You cannot say your mind is this and not that. Your mind is this and that, both things. Now is the moment of truth: if you do not undertake to direct your mind, your mind will direct you. There is no way out. Either you direct your mind, or your mind will direct you. If your mind directs you, with all the wealth and power and happiness and sex and fashion and arms and cannons and bombs -- you don’t get anywhere.

Mind directs you to what you physically feel. Mind will never direct you to what you feel spiritually. So your physical growth may become humungous, but your mental growth will become narrower and narrower, and your spirit will have no chance to go through it.

Once you don’t have command of your mind, your mind will have command of you. There is no way out. It is an either/or situation. And when mind has command over you, spirit goes dormant.

Spiritual disciplines are harsh, I agree, but without this chiseling harshness, mind does not listen. Mind takes you to sides and places where you don’t want to go, but still you go.

Misfortune guarantees fortune and fortune is followed by misfortune, they are like parallel sisters. They cannot be separated. To get out of this fortune/misfortune, you have to have full control of your mind, and your mind has to know you, and you have to know your mind, and for that, there is meditation. The art of meditation is to control one’s mind.

We are human, therefore we have to think straight, we have to live straight and we have to remain straight. In that way, we will be fortunate and prosperous because we will be very easily understood; we will be very easily trusted; we will be very easily believed.

Yogi Bhajan was a spiritual teacher. The excerpt above was a from a talk in New Mexico in 2001.

Seed questions for reflection: How do you relate to the notion that the mind both helps and hinders a human's power of penetration? Can you share a personal story of a time your spiritual discipline helped you direct your mind instead of having your mind direct you? What helps you control your mind?

Add Your Reflection:

12 Previous Reflections:

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    On May 16, 2019 Ruby(Triza Laxmi Aurora) wrote:
    Yes, the Creator has given to each one of us a moment only and the freedom to think a thought that moment and freedom to act on that thought. A moment in hand is the only that each one truly owns, nothing else! All actions come from a thought. A thought is the only secret a person owns until it is made known to others. Everything you see when you walk on sidewalk, ie, the houses, the roads, the electric poles & wiring, the traffic signs, the flower gardens, etc are somebody's thought! You are seeing a thought.. A moment at hand is what a person truly owns because the next breath or moment is not guaranteed. If the next moment does not come, the person does not even own the body or mind! Likewise, next day, next month, or next year may not come since even an hour does not happen at once in a snap of time but it is made of several moments at a time. A person can control the mind because a person can challenge a thought or choose not act on it. True, mind has to be trained since t... [View Full Comment] Yes, the Creator has given to each one of us a moment only and the freedom to think a thought that moment and freedom to act on that thought. A moment in hand is the only that each one truly owns, nothing else! All actions come from a thought. A thought is the only secret a person owns until it is made known to others. Everything you see when you walk on sidewalk, ie, the houses, the roads, the electric poles & wiring, the traffic signs, the flower gardens, etc are somebody's thought! You are seeing a thought.. A moment at hand is what a person truly owns because the next breath or moment is not guaranteed. If the next moment does not come, the person does not even own the body or mind! Likewise, next day, next month, or next year may not come since even an hour does not happen at once in a snap of time but it is made of several moments at a time. A person can control the mind because a person can challenge a thought or choose not act on it. True, mind has to be trained since the brain creates channels and memories, but the process is same as controlling it. The mind never stops thinking! The only time I enjoy my thoughts and let it happen with actions is when I am dreaming. I dream I am flying over mountains, clearly seeing the trees rivers, farms, animals, people below. I fly over the ocean seeing down below the huge blue ocean, the white sandy beaches. Sometimes I dream I see coconuts on a tree and like to pick it, sometimes a beautiful ripe bunch of mangoes on top of the tree, I fly and pick those fruits much to the amazement of the people below! Somestimes a lion or dog is chasing me, as soon as it is about to catch me, i take to flight! What an experience my mind gives me! I will never enjoy that in real life, but when I wake up I remember every detail and I feel I just really did that. That is my mind! So open like the universe itself![Hide Full Comment]

    1 reply: Amy | Post Your Reply
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    On May 14, 2019 Patrick Perching Eagle wrote:
    If the mind controls the will and we have nothing else, we are in big trouble! But in “centering down” the mind into the “heart” we bring it under the influence of Divine LOVE. Therein the mind is informed, even transformed and thus the will. }:- ❤️🙏🏼 anonemoose monk

    1 reply: Amy | Post Your Reply
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    On May 14, 2019 Sunil wrote:
    Only Human mind is blessed with the wisdom of eternal latent joy,peace,power within. Those who realise this reality of "who am I" control their mind to lead a purposeful life.Meditation is the key. Kabir's Surat-Shabad-Yoga is the way.

    Post Your Reply
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    On May 13, 2019 Ginny wrote:
    Only the divine Mind governs. Our consciousness reflects this infinite
    eternal Love, Life and Truth.

    Post Your Reply
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    On May 12, 2019 David Doane wrote:
    I interpret "penetration" to mean to move or enter into wisdom (in this context). The mind can be used to stay away from wisdom, particularly by being primarily left brain including logical, linear, and goal-focused, and it can be used to enter wisdom by utilizing right brain including open, creative, broad. As my spiritual discipline got away from dogmatic beliefs with which I was indoctrinated, I didn't allow my mind to direct me, and I allowed my developing spiritual discipline to direct my mind to be open to new ideas and to what appeared to me to be truth. What helps me control my mind is for me to hang loose, be open to my free and nonrational associations, value my fantasies, trust what I call my unconscious, and pay attention to my bodily responses. There is a saying that thinking makes a fine servant and a terrible master -- the same goes for the mind -- I've believed that for a long time and reminding myself of it helps me control my mind.

    2 replies: Ruby(Triza, Aj | Post Your Reply
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    On May 10, 2019 Jagdish P Dave wrote:
    It is up to me how to use my mind. My mind can create bondage or can create suffering. It can hurt me if I use it wrong way or it can heal me if I use it right way. Right choice making is very crucial The trouble is even though I know what is the wrong way but I still follow it and even though I know what is the right way to follow I may not follow it. In this way I create my own suffering or bliss. Yesterday, I was invited by friend for a dinner. His wife is a wonderful cook. She made delicious dishes of food. It was very tasty. And I kept on eating the food that's not good my health. I came up with my own self-created excuses. And I paid the price for my wrong doing. This is where awareness and self-discipline come into play. I made a mistake and learned a lesson from my oen experience. Learning how to use mind is the key to following the right path.I have been learning how to make wholesome and wise choices by practicing mindfulness in my everyday life. Namaste! Jagdish P Dave ... [View Full Comment] It is up to me how to use my mind. My mind can create bondage or can create suffering. It can hurt me if I use it wrong way or it can heal me if I use it right way. Right choice making is very crucial The trouble is even though I know what is the wrong way but I still follow it and even though I know what is the right way to follow I may not follow it. In this way I create my own suffering or bliss.
    Yesterday, I was invited by friend for a dinner. His wife is a wonderful cook. She made delicious dishes of food. It was very tasty. And I kept on eating the food that's not good my health. I came up with my own self-created excuses. And I paid the price for my wrong doing. This is where awareness and self-discipline come into play. I made a mistake and learned a lesson from my oen experience.
    Learning how to use mind is the key to following the right path.I have been learning how to make wholesome and wise choices by
    practicing mindfulness in my everyday life.
    Namaste!
    Jagdish P Dave








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    On May 10, 2019 Xiaoshan Pan wrote:
    This is only of the many occasions when I was directed by my mind and the results were quite surprising. One day by the time I got off work, I was tired, beaten, and nearly depressed. Disregarding I had a meditation meeting to attend in the evening, my mind was telling me to just go home and chill out. It came up with many good reasons that I should not attend the meeting and they all sounded quite reasonable. But, in the end I put myself together and went to the meeting because it was an commitment that I made to myself earlier. I went to the meeting and the session was great. By the time when the meeting was over, I was in a completely different mindset, happy, content, and relaxed.

    However, I also have other experiences when I listened to what my mind told me (to be precise, what my body told me) to do instead, and it went well too.

    So, this is not as simple as black and white.

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    On May 9, 2019 Amy wrote:
    The Holy Spirit helps me to control my mind ... without doubt!

    Post Your Reply

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