By Sri Sri Shuddhaanandaa
Your mind is the inner space in which you live your life, the space from which you create your life, the place to which you return for rest and regeneration. In other words, your mind is your home. In the ocean of consciousness, waves of thought continuously overlap and feed into one another. Thought after thought generates wave after wave of kindred thoughts. Thought is repetitive by nature. Thoughts become mantras, repeated again and again. Soon an indelible pattern takes root.
You have to choose those thoughts which will bring you happiness and peace because your thoughts are not just thoughts. Your thoughts are energy. Your thoughts are seeds. And within each seed is a tree.
Thinking the same thought again and again, you energize its seed-essence until it sprouts and begins to branch out in self-reinforcing emotions, attitudes, and behaviors. With awareness you can identify and reinforce what causes you happiness. With awareness, you can identify and stop reinforcing the causes of your unhappiness.
If you are unhappy, if you are complaining and miserable all the time, begin to identify the thoughts that are giving rise to your unhappiness. Your unhappiness is a call to attention. It is pointing you toward an area of your life where you have not been conscious. Attention. Attention. Attention. That which is holding you back is signaling to you that something needs to be released.
If your thoughts are negative, if they are brooding, if they are saturated with unhappy emotions, expectations and anxieties, the home of your mind has become cluttered. Your mind has been caught in a negative groove. Those thoughts which cannot bring you happiness, those thoughts which detract from the quality of your life, are filling the home of your mind with trash. You have unconsciously nourished those thoughts and now you need to take out the trash.
Negative thoughts are like parasites living inside you, eating away at you. They are thieves, stealing your energy. You have to start waking up to this aspect of the mind. You have to choose those thoughts which you allow to take up residence in the home of your mind. You have to clean the kitchen and sweep the floor of your mind. You have to pick up the clutter and take out the trash everyday to keep it from piling up.
If you find that you are miserable, you need to do some deep cleaning to recover peace and happiness. You have to bring your attention back to your thoughts. You have to catch those thoughts which are not conducive to positive energies at their source, when they first come into your mind. As soon as you are aware of them, you can dismiss them, like an unwelcome guest.
You simply do not grant permanent, uncorrected access to negative thoughts. You don’t allow negativity to take up residence in the home of your mind, to dig deep inside, to establish its toxic, debilitating roots, or to foul your internal, mental and emotional landscape.
It is also important to take some time each day to simply sit and watch your mind. Just see how your untended, conditioned mind works. There is no need to push anything aside. Your keen, relaxed observation is enough. Eventually, the clutter disappears. It has been growing like weeds in the garden of your mind because you have not been observing it. Now you are just watching. Watching the thoughts come. Watching the thoughts go. You are putting the light of consciousness on the stream of your thoughts. You are seeing them as they are. That is enough to burn away the weeds. The light of your awareness does the work.
Lighting the lamp of awareness, the lamp of attention, there is no darkness. The lamp of attention will give you patience. It will give you perseverance. It will enlighten any darkened chamber of your mind, chasing darkness away with newly dawning wisdom.
Taking out the trash of the mind is not enough in itself, though. You have to choose to spend more time with those thoughts which will ultimately bring you peace and joy. The good news is that happiness is at the very core of life. All beings in their natural state are eternally infinitely happy. Happiness is the essence of life. You are inevitably, inherently happy in your Spirit or Being.
Happiness is even biological. When your body is in balance, every cell literally sings with the harmonious joys of existence. That is your natural state, even if you have yet to consciously experience it. You are born out of bliss. You remain out of bliss. You dissolve into bliss.
But how, you ask, do I regain that natural state?
Infinite intelligence is always working in your body. It is always working in your every cell. It is working with every breath you take to renew your life. As you go about every activity of your life, the key again, is attention. The key is to become more aware, more attentive, more sensitive and receptive, more attuned to the subtler harmonies and energies of your own existence.
The Universe is always breathing life into you. You simply need to consciously focus more often on the beautiful, harmonious flow of the Universe within and outside of you. You are inseparable from a larger, exquisitely balanced and beautiful, living web of existence that nourishes and sustains you. Open your heart to it. Allow it to fill your mind and nourish you. Let it permeate your body and mind. Spend quiet time each day in nature or with your own breath, opening yourself to the flow of those infinite energies, to their sublime harmonies.
As you give your mind more of this loving attention, as you patiently observe and clear away any negative thought patterns of the past, you find you want for nothing. Your life is taking on new qualities. New seeds are sprouting. New, beautiful trees are flowering in the garden of your mind. You are more at home, more peacefully at home, in your own mind and in the world.