August 17, 2020
We identify ourselves on various occasions as if we are only our thoughts, or sometimes as only our bodies, other times as our feelings only. Whatever is active (the body or the mind), that becomes the full picture. When we are stuck in the body, we give way too much importance to the physical appearance and worry about getting old. When we are stuck in the mind, we constantly review the past or planning the future, day and night. The mind is restless and running at the speed of light at all times. We find that the mind is busy, very busy throughout the day. We think a lot and plan a lot. Analyze a lot and dissect every little thing in our lives. We spend sleepless nights and worry.
We worry a lot and choose to take up many roles in our lives. By choosing these roles, we give ourselves a false sense of control. We become cheerleaders for some people in our lives. We become caregivers to others. We take on more responsibilities than we can bodily handle. We fill every second of our day with things to do, activities, chores and plans to do more of those things.
The mind runs and runs, like a wild horse being attached to a chariot. The running is aimless and pointless. Directionless and futile for there is no destination. There is no purpose and joy in that running. The mind runs as a wild horse, pulling the chariot with itself. The chariot, the physical human body, is forced to run with the horse, the mind. The mind is exhausted running at such a high speed and the body has no choice but to come along for the ride, reluctantly, sometimes forcefully. As the mind starts to feel tired, so does the body. The body aches and suffers. The exhaustion manifests in the form of dis-ease and illnesses, discomfort and restlessness.
How can we stop it? How can we stop the mind AND the body to stop running aimlessly? How can we stop wasting energy and internal resources? How can we gain the energy back? How can we start to heal the body and the mind?
The healing begins when we realize that there is something else present also, apart from the body and the mind. There is the mind (wild horse), there is the body (the chariot) and there is also the CHARIOTEER. This is the most important part of our BEING. The charioteer is the soul. Our awareness. Our essence. Our spirit. Atma. Rooh.
It is time to give the reins back to the atma, self, spirit, rooh. It is time to hold the reins and tell the mind that it is not the one who is in control. It is YOU! You, the self, is in control.
When you are in control, then you are able to pull the reins and control the horse (the mind). Now the horse slows down and along with it the body slows down as well. With each mindful breath, the horse slows down a bit more. More deep breaths. The mind slows down more. Now it is not running anymore. It is trotting now, slowly, gracefully, purposefully.
Since now you know that YOU are in charge, not your mind, not your thoughts, not your body nor the ideas about the body. Now you can tell the mind where to go. You can tell the horse where he is headed. It is not running aimlessly anymore. It has a plan. It has a destination. The destination is to be HERE. Be PRESENT. To be Joyous NOW.
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August 19, 2020
Saba, you have captured the essence of mindfulness (at least for me). You have beautifully illustrated what it can do for each of us individually, and for humanity as a whole if we all made a little effort to “wake up”. Through awareness of the present moment, paying attention to our physical sensations, thoughts, emotions, and “what is going on in our lives”, we can soothe our bodies and minds, nurture our spirit, and act with more intentionality. This nurturing in turn helps us to realize our true selves and achieve our life purpose, whatever these may be and however long it may take to get there. Your vivid image of the mind as a wild horse with the body and soul in tow is particularly apt for me. As a (former) longtime sufferer of chronic back pain that went largely unexplained by traditional medicine, my horse (mind) was indeed on “runaway” mode for years, which led my chariot (body) to essentially break down. I didn’t connect the dots until years later, stumbling into this exciting new world. Incorporating simple mindfulness practices in my routine, including most recently through your online meditation and yoga sessions, has allowed me to slow my horse and get it pointed in the right direction, with better purpose (and the ride is more fun, too!). Importantly, this is not “mind control” but a more gentle awareness that allows us to separate from our thoughts, whatever they may be, and recognize them as just that – thoughts which come and go like weather patterns and which are not necessarily reality or who we are. Its weird, but it works. What is really neat is that although this is an ancient practice, there is modern neuroscience behind it. We are just now coming to realize that the mind and body are intimately connected in ways we never thought possible, with each affecting the other (for better or worse). And that we can influence the mapping of our brains and our mental habits for the better, no matter our age (neuroplasticity), resulting in better physical health too. One day in the not too distant future, I am hopeful that some kind of mindfulness will be part of everyone’s daily basic “self-care” (like brushing your teeth, someone has said). We know the importance of exercising the body and many of us do it regularly, so why not the mind, too? In our busy 24/7 interconnected lives, just taking time out for “non-doing” and moment-to-moment awareness is something we can all benefit from, whoever we are. If nothing else, it is innately calming, and who couldn’t benefit from a little more of that these days? So, Saba, thank you for bringing this age-old wisdom to the community (your Tribe), through your unique knowledge, experience and perspective.
August 17, 2020
These words are coming directly from the divine and are 100% truth. Saba, you have explained these to us in simple and easy to understand language. This triangulation of soul, mind and body is beautifully explained as a starting point of how to be mindful. This basic knowledge is essential to meditation. We are the soul. How many times we we even think about it that we are soul with infinite love and bliss hidden with us. We can experience this bliss and love by controlling our mind. Every soul on this earth should be taught this. We should teach this basic understanding to all toddlers. Thank you so much for the great analogy.
Visibility to the soul!!! I love that, Nisha. We focus so much on the body and the mind that the soul is often left unattended. Diverting some of those energies from the body and the mind to the soul will be hugely beneficial to us. It will help us to BE and see the big picture.
Many thanks to you, Nisha, for starting such a meaningful conversation here.
Thank you Saba. I love the description of the mind as a restless horse and the body as the chariot and most importantly the charioteer as the soul. I think just envisioning the charioteer allows my soul to have visibility. That visibility will allow me to focus more attention on that entity from now. I hope that this effort will detract energy from the opposing entities of the mind and body. In essence, this would strike a more optimal balance would it not?
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