The following post is a translated excerpt from acharya shree’s book, kaise soche
Thought (vichaar in hindi) means the one which moves ( in hindi, char means walk) . How can one that moves be permanent? The one that is temporary cannot be permanent and the one that is permanent cannot be temporary. Every dravya or substance has both facets- permanence and impermanence. Thoughts always remain impermanent.
Some are astonished at a change in opinions. But, what is so surprising? If thoughts do not change, that is surprising. The nature of thoughts is to change. If one thought stays an entire lifetime, the person should be thought of as a very rigid person, closed to new ideas. A person often experiences pride at having clung to a thought tightly. He thinks he is strong. But, it, in reality, is foolishness.
When bones become too rigid, it is an alarm of bad health. Bones should remain flexible. That is why, getting stuck at one thought is not something special. But, men and women sometimes assume a foolish act to be special. When the mind is not stable, even the wrong seems right.
The field of thoughts is unique. Here, thoughts which oppose one another are nurtured. Beneath the veil of right understanding, foolishness is nurtured.
In the field of thoughts, opposite thoughts cannot be ignored. There cannot be a thought which only produces harmony. Thoughts produce duality, because the nature of thoughts is to move and change. In this dual world of thoughts, thinking something should happen this way or that way, something will happen or wont happen, is illusionary- there is no reality to it.
We are contemplating on how to think because we sometimes, have positive life-building thoughts and sometimes, destructive thoughts.We want the latter to be less. This can be achieved if we could refine our thoughts.
And thoughts can be refined by achieving a balance of thoughtlessness and the state of thoughtfulness. Clear thoughts cannot be achieved by just thinking as there is struggle in the field of thoughts. More we experience thoughtlessness, more our thoughts become clear and positive.
Intellect cannot clean thoughts. Only thoughtlessness can. From it, comes positivity, faith, will-power, the ability for self-effort, and the radiance of light which is within us.
But what is thoughtlessness? It is the state of meditation. In this state, there are no thoughts and no imagination. Doors of all kinds of thoughts are closed. That consciousness arises which is beyond the senses, the mind, and the intellect. One only experiences the pure soul. The state is entirely a subject of experience. It cannot be discussed in words.
The following post is based on Acharya shree’s hindi book, mastishk ka prashikshan
Post continued from ‘Developing control on our brain’
The four solutions of emotional refinement are:
Swadhyaya is a method by which emotions can be changed. Cultivating conducive thoughts, reading and contemplating quality literature can help in changing vruttis. This is one idea for refinement. It is difficult to say how effective this method is. It is effective if practised in the right way. Today the meaning of swadhyaya has been reduced to just reading, which doesn’t bear quality results. Along with reading, the practise also requires contemplation.
The man of today reads a lot but does not change. He listens to spiritual talks but does not transform. This is because just reading and listening is not enough. Eating a meal takes just fifteen minutes. However, digesting it takes three hours. Similarly, reading a piece of text needs a few minutes but digesting it needs a lot more time. If one page has been read, then digesting it requires the time needed to read fifty pages. What is obtained after contemplation or manan proves instrumental in changing emotions.
Ancient belief says – “One prahar (morning /afternoon/ evening) must be reserved for reading and another must be reserved for reflecting upon what one has read.” This stands true for all kinds of studies, be it spiritual or non-spiritual.
The second factor is meditation. Through meditation we directly influence our prana or vital force. During the meditation process*, we direct our focus at particular centres. Focusing implies a union of the consciousness and prana. Wherever the consciousness is focused, there the flow of prana increases. The increase in the flow of prana destroys any kind of blockage at that point – be it a blockage at the physical plane, mental plane or emotional plane.
The ordinary meaning of preksha is observing. But observing does not mean observing with the eyes. Rather it implies a special method of observing, which is experiencing with equanimity – a state of mind that is devoid of craving and aversion. This is a powerful method which purifies emotions.
Someone who learns the art of observing, (s)he becomes active in changing oneself. If thoughts come, observe them. In a few minutes, thoughts will disappear.
Carl Jung is one of the pioneers of modern psychology. He wrote – when I was ill, I went to a psychotherapist. The therapist asked mr to lie down, relax, and asked what is it that you’re thinking. The moment I observed my thoughts, they disappeared.
Imagination, memory, and thoughts produce aggravation. Only through observation, all kinds of aggravations silence down. That is why, whatever is happening in the body, brain, and emotional plane, observe. When the focus on observing increases, the mind will become peaceful.
It is not possible for a continuous flow of good emotions. Emotions are so unique that one is unable to understand them. Emotions stay pure – this is not so simple. It is necessary to support all the different kinds of reactions within us. There are several supports declared for the same. With these supports, we reach a state where pure emotions flow. Our goal is to reach a state devoid of impure emotions. As soon as we reach this goal, supports are not needed, just like a boat becomes stationary as soon it reaches the shore.
Simply put, the meaning of tapasya is developing endurance. Anybody who doesn’t work hard and cannot endure pain, cannot progress.
When an individual is capable to endure all kinds of situations, change shall take place.
The above four are the mediums of change. They are not a pathway to suppression but a pathway of refinement of negative emotions. And when negative tendencies are improved, the flow of life changes.
These four instruments are related to meditation. If we centre our lives around meditation, I think our lives can progress to a great extent.
*It is recommended to learn any meditation process by trained professionals. Practicing without supervision is not advisable.