The mind is a powerful tool. It may not be a tangible organ like the brain, but its presence can be felt in everything we do and feel. It is said that we have the power to move mountains with our minds, if we harness their energy in the right manner.
The mind directs our perception and can change our mood drastically in positive or negative ways. How the mind perceives the world creates our version of the world. Our perception, how we order the chaos of our environment, is heavily influenced by our experiences, expectations, moods and even cultural norms. It is said that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, which means that life is all about perspective. An event that occurs stay the same, but how we feel towards it depends entirely upon the mind. The placebo effect is an important example here; it means that when a person’s mind believes something to be true, the body reacts accordingly.
The mind is impressionable. It learns through past actions and gives us inner suggestions on how to react in certain situations.
Most people blindly follow this suggestion, not trying to ever break the cycle even, if its impact is constantly negative. The Bhagwad Gita says that human beings are spiritual beings at the core, possessing mind and body. When the mind is disturbed, it disrupts our regular functioning because of our deep identification with it. This is what leads a person to an aggravated mental state in any form. So, the only way to come out of such constant negativity is to learn to direct the mind in the right direction and to rectify our identification with it. It is so comforting to know that we are apart from our mind, we can just be an observer, and not get carried away by the mind.
Every person’s subconscious gets shaped based on knowledge inputs, as one listens to different opinions and forms one’s own habits and feelings towards a situation, person, or concept. It becomes very difficult to depart from our earlier impressions. The mind tends to wander; we need to learn to harness its potential without getting overwhelmed by it. Spirituality involves not only noticing when your mind wanders, but also bringing back its focus on positive dimensions, to bring it in touch with sources of goodness. There may still be times when the mind tries to take off on its own, and being aware of this, we must gently regain control of it.
The only way to come out of negativity is to learn to direct the mind in right direction and to rectify our identification with it. It is comforting to know that we are apart from our mind?
By Radhanath Swami