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