Transforming mind through meditation is a must for peaceful, serene life. Mind is a maddening medley of disordered thoughts-always wandering, wavering, leaving you restless. Unless you master your mind, your mind will always rule you.
What Is Mind?
A Baffling Mystery Mostly Unfathomed
At the outset, let us try to understand what mind is, though mind cannot be known fully, for it is infinite.
Mind for us is the stream of jumbled, random thoughts, breaking on the mental space, without pause and rest. Mind seems incurably restless: wandering about from object to object, never at peace, always unsatisfied, slave of gross senses. It remains active round the clock till we go into sleep. Even then it is active, though in a different way, if our sleep is not deep.
Mind is not mere brain. Brain is finite while mind is infinite. Mind can transcend the physical dimensions of brain. Medical Science can comprehend mind up to the cognitive mind. Beyond that, mind remains a mystery unfathomed.
There are myriad layers in mind from gross to subtle: sense-mind, emotional mind, thought mind, creative mind, higher mind, intuitive mind, illumined mind… However here, we will confine ourselves to the physical/vital mind since this particular mental part impedes your attempt at meditation.
Mind Wrestles with Meditative Calm
Mind Resists Descent of Consciousness
The surface part of mind resists meditation because it loves its nature of wandering about. So, it will not give up its hegemony without a fight: often a fierce and protracted fight. Meditation seeks to end the erratic mind’s mastery and make it a pliant instrument of your Will to reach and connect Consciousness.
But if you persist and carry on with meditation practice with unshakable patience, undaunted by the initial resistance, you will realize that meditation is a powerful tool to calm down mind. Calming down mind is the first step and then you must transcend mind to realize who you really are: not your surface personality, but the Divine Consciousness- eternally calm and poised, infinite and boundless, unperturbed by your outer life.
Importance of Balancing Mind
Mind Is Conflict of Opposites
Mind is a baffling play of contraries. Nothing is stable there: always swinging from mood to mood- from peace to restlessness, from love to hatred, from doing good to doing evil… It seems as though you are being controlled by the Devil and the Divine by turns. If you study your mind, you will realize the truth behind the old aphorism which says that mind is good as servant and dangerous as master.
Now the question is: is there anything in mind that can help you control your surface mind- mind studying mind as a witness: balancing mind, controlling mind and even transforming mind into something that is from your erratic mind?
Through deep study of your mind, you will progressively realize that deep within, you are Consciousness. Meditation is the means to study mind, balance mind, control mind. Finally, it takes mind into the deep realms of Divine Consciousness.
General Classification of Mind
Mind Is Multi-Layered: Some Known, Most Unknown
To classify mind is as difficult as defining mind. There are too many layers and sub-layers, all real though some are dormant. Let us now go for a general classification of mind that is required for our present purpose.
- Physical Mind: If you study your mind as a witness, you will realize that though man is called a mental being, the human mind is nearly fully entangled in the unconscious operations of physical/nervous system: slave of subconscious stirrings, slave of senses, slave of nerves, slave of animal instincts.
- Life Mind: This is from where wild passions, desires, impulses, whims spring- the seat of both positive and negative energies swinging by turns. It inspires you to build; it shoves you to destroy. It prods you to love; it goads you to hate. These continue as you remain a prisoner of your ego, mainly your life- ego. This is the fount of your dynamic energies, so it is the most difficult part of yours to control, balance, discipline.
- Creative Mind: It is the source of creative energies. It is infinite in scope: free, unbound by boundaries. It dreams, it innovates, it creates, it invents. All the wonderful literary, creative, scientific works in life owe their origin to this infinitely fecund layer of mind.
- Spiritual Mind: This is the fountain-head of all the beautiful feelings of man- compassion, love, self-effacement, sacrifice, devotion. It seems like it receives Light from above. It loves to embrace the intangible; it is ready to sacrifice the tangible for the intangible.
- Superconscious Mind: Super-consciousness is the highest awareness where individual entity dissolves in the Infinite: limitless, borderless, boundless, something difficult to define. The great Indian mystic Sri Ramakrishna Paramhamsha described it this way: a doll of salt goes out into ocean to measure its depth and ends up losing itself as it becomes the ocean. This is not a nebulous fancy, but a concrete reality for those who have experienced this all-losing and all-finding ecstatic Consciousness.