Source | Youtube : By Hans Dholakia
The case for Mindfulness : There is so much talk these days about mindfulness : for health and wellness, for personal development, for stress management, etc. And rightly so ! Without being aware and mindful, self-management and the quest for happiness don’t even begin.
And yet, meditation is not just mindfulness, as most people in the West understand ; it is a lot more than just that. In fact, mindfulness is awareness that ends in Dharana (concentration) which culminates into Dhyan or Meditation. Meditation finally ends in Samadhi, the final union, in which the Observer-Observed-Observation – they all unite and become one.
Understanding the Mind & Brain : The mind belongs to the individualized part of Unified Consciousness, defined by time and space co-ordinates, and it borrows its sentient faculties from the incarnate soul. It is finer than both matter and energy. In an individual, the mind is above the body and is the head of the senses.
Mind is not just the brain but it includes and operates it ; the brain is like a hardware. It’s an organ – with a location , a birth (the brain starts shaping up soon after the embryo formation), a death (brain death, and not the heartbeat stoppage, is the final clinical death), a shape (similar to walnut kernel), a weight (about 3 pounds for an adult brain), a configuration (in billions of neurons), etc. The brain is our body’s CPU – the processor. But it is still a hardware. It is the mind that, as the programmer, runs and operates the brain. The brain is the interface between the mind and the body, operating through sensory and motor nerves. The five senses feed the brain with sensory inputs, and the brain processes them. The mind likes or dislikes them !
The mind itself is the interface between the body and soul, and it gets polarized. The lower part of this interface, closer to the body, is called Manas in the science of Yoga – the ego-dominated sensory mind. The upper part of the interface, closer to the soul, is the intellect – the reasoning and discriminating mind (Vivek-Buddhi).
The Ego : It’s the villain, the real mischief-maker. Its den is the body and sensory mind. In fact, ego is defined as the limited (and limiting) body-consciousness. ‘I am this boldy’, ‘that’s Me and Mine, those are others’ … this is ego. It’s accomplice is ignorance. So, we can say, the Ego is the ruler in the kingdom of body and sensory mind. It rebels against the real king, Soul, and his (the soul’s) deputy, the Reasoning Intellect. That’s the scene, the stage set for ceaseless conflict, the inner Mahabharat.
Where mindfulness can help : Awareness is where mindfulness helps. The ego (working through the sensory mind, the brain and the senses) is aware of the color, the sound, the touch etc. in its objective environment, and as one matures through experiential and other learning, some room is allowed for the higher mind, the Intellect, and so, some rationalization happens.
‘This tastes good but has proved harmful ; let me not eat more ; tobacco makes me cough, so I better restrict it ; uncontrolled anger spoils relationships, so let me regulate and restrain it’, etc., are the tips the discriminating, discerning, reasoning intellect drops into the domain of ego/sensory-mind combine. Gradually as these are taken well and honored, mindful living happens.