The recipe for success is practicing rest and relaxation for mindfulness
(after understanding the cause of suffering and happiness) the seeker (the person is ready and qualified) should guide the mind to do right thinking with teacher. The teacher is the knower of the subjective reality and is full of compassion.
The masters and texts of eastern wisdom lays emphasis on right thinking. The right thing drops unwanted thought patterns that causes suffering, stress and challenges in life. when mind consciously knows what is right and wrong, it drops the wrong and the impure. we never put our finger on fire because we learned from our experiences in childhood that i burns. still we use the fire.
There are many ways masters have spoken about it.
Right thinking focuses on four fundamental questions of life
- What is the suffering?
- What is the cause of suffering?
- What is absence of suffering?
- What is the method to end suffering?
Right thinking focuses on four goals in life
- Who am I? or what is my true nature?
- What is the world I live in? if it is mind created world that causes the suffering?
- What is the existence? Is journey of life, from matter to consciousness or consciousness to matter (material world)?
- How to live in peace and happiness in the world 24X7?
When a person becomes a seeker, his mind is absorbed in contemplation and reflection about finding the answers of questions above. The rest like time, place, postures, food follows like recipe of tea i.e. tea leaves, sugar, water and bowel. Right thinking is like fire without which tea cannot be prepared.
उद्धरेदात्मनात्मानं नात्मानमवसादयेत् |
आत्मैव ह्यात्मनो बन्धुरात्मैव रिपुरात्मन: || Bhagavad Gita 6.5)
uddhared ātmanātmānaṁ nātmānam avasādayet
ātmaiva hyātmano bandhur ātmaiva ripur ātmanaḥ
Elevate (or evolve) yourself through the power of your mind ( right thinking) , and not degrade ( living in suffering, pain and stress) yourself, for the mind can be the friend and also the enemy of the self.
No one can tread the path to peace, happiness, love and wisdom but oneself. The greatest tool is one’s mind. The mind with the right-thinking acts like fire that burns suffering and awakens to wisdom (knowledge of the true nature that hides behind the mind).
The practice, method, steps, time, place etc. follows when we work on the mind with right thinking. It is the mind with wrong thinking inflicts miseries in life. We suffer more than 90% in life due to self-inflicted miseries by the mind.
when mind thinks and contemplates how ‘I am responsible for peace, happiness and suffering in life’ , it helps raise self-awareness and clears the wrong perception and clears the mind.
Grace or blessing is an important word in eastern wisdom. Ordinarily we consider blessings from teacher or god will help end suffering. But masters say that there are four kinds of grace by master, text, god and self. The grace by self is the greatest because it brings one’s life near to teacher, god and text or principles of eastern wisdom.
Teacher, text and god are always present at all time, right thinking can inspire us to tread the path from today or never. When there is right thinking in the mind, a person transitions and become a disciple. When disciple within is ready, the master appears, the knowledge from the text appears to succeed.
How the mind can be made our friend. We should understand the nature, states, and functional aspects of mind. There are four functional aspects of mind. It means mind is essentially one but works in four diverse ways at given time, place and object.
The mind, intellect, ego and chitta or mind stuff are four functional aspects of mind. All four together is known as inner instrument. Mind in eastern wisdom is different the mind of modern psychology. The Freudian psychology considers ego is the real self whereas eastern wisdom discovers the real-self or true nature behind the mind by following the principles and practices that end suffering.
Like the fire is the most important to prepare a tea. Even we have tea leaves, sugar, milk and bowel, we cannot prepare tea.
‘Be mindful’, ‘be mindful of the breath’ are the phrases we use in daily life. No doubt, it reminds the mind of Awareness and Attention in the work, still the state of mindfulness is too far. The science and art of mindfulness (or meditation) is 6000 years old tradition. Thousands of masters discovered their true nature and passed on the wisdom in 3000 texts. They followed the same principles but gave different practices based on the mental state of their students.
Mind works best for scientific discovery in the material world
One of the most important principle of eastern wisdom is to understand, how mind works in the discovery of material world and real-self. Without mind, science cannot discover anything in the material world. With mind we cannot achieve the state of mindfulness. We start discovering our true nature with the mind but in the end, we drop (or transcend) the mind for the sake of mindfulness (or meditation).
Work on the mind for self-discovery in the inner space
The simple formula is to work on the mind. We need self-awareness to work on the mind, otherwise mind starts working on us through its habits, desires, pleasures, pain and obsessions. When we are lazy, crazy, reactive and agitated, mind is working on us. When we are self-aware, observe the contents of the mind, we have started working on the mind.
Mind is the cause of suffering and also the cause of mindfulness and peace
Whether mind is the cause of stress or peace, it is very important instrument for mindfulness. The human mind can observe the world outside and inside. It can make a choice and ask the mind to follow that choice to progress in any endeavour. The journey of mindfulness is self-discovery. The self-discovery demands the mind to be self-aware and withdraw itself from outside to inside. When mind starts the journey inside, it becomes the cause of peace and happiness.
Conscious rest and relaxation is the recipe
One great master, who lived before Buddha gave great recipe for mindfulness. He guided his disciple, ‘withdraw the scattered mind within and allow it to rest within, you will be in peace and happiness here and now.’
The guidance contains the secret of ‘effortlessness’ in the journey of mindfulness.
The manual of science explains the state of relaxation achieved when there are positive physiological, biochemical and psychological changes. Few of them are- lowering of heart and breath rate, parasympathetic shift in autonomic nervous system, decreased blood pressure etc. They are all objective changes. We are not sure if we truly relaxed.
The manual of eastern wisdom explains the subjective changes. The practitioner validates it by his/her conscious experience.
I have translated the principle taught by the great master to 4 step relaxation practice. It is effortless and natural. When we walk inside our home from outside, the outer world is left outside. The same way when mind consciously moves inside from outside, it leaves the outer world of mind and discovers peace and happiness.
When mind leaves the outer world, it is ready for mindfulness
The mind is ready to discover the state of mindfulness, when it continues to live inside. ‘Living within’ (of the mind) is ‘living in the present’. It does not mean that mind forgets everything outside, it is aware, indifferent and unattached. It is the state of dispassion when mind finds worthless, wandering outside, because peace and happiness are within.
The recipe for success in practising rest and relaxation before mindfulness
The moment your mind thinks of mindfulness as something
- Counting the breath
- Looking at the body
- Sitting down with eyes closed and doing nothing
It is ready to follow it routine. It is mechanical and habitual. The routine brain and conditioned mind are the same. It prevents you to relax and mindfulness. There is need for conscious rest and relaxation. We will help you understand the secrets behind conscious rest and relaxation. You will practice and experience it with simple and easy steps.