A simple mind

4 08 2014

What’s the greatest treasure in this world? “A simple mind.”

In this complicated world, we are compelled to think complicated. There is so much to process, so many things to manage. We have to worry about our future, we need to be wary of our past, and we need to tread carefully through the present. We have to take care of us, our family, and our society. And we need to compete to survive and race ahead. In times where there is no clear distinction between black and white but rather exists a huge range of grays, where virtue doesn’t always win and justice rarely met, we need complex minds to navigate through the labyrinth of life.

Or so do we assume.

But deep down we know that something is amiss. There is a want of something alluding. Peace?

A simple mind is a child-like mind. Of the two choices life presents at each moment, it always chooses the simpler one. Love is simple; hate is complex. Smile is simple; frown is complex. Compassion is simple; indifference is complex. Truth is simple, lie is complex. And so on. It lives in the present, untouched by the past or the future.

I think it all boils down to the ancient philosophy from Gita: Be righteous. Follow your dharma. Do what you need to do, without bothering about the results.

A simple mind is a clear mind. An enlightened mind.

If internal peace is what everyone seeks – the ultimate goal of existence – which path leads us to it? Why do we let ourselves get lost in darkness?

Memory loss

16 12 2009

Almost every one of us experience occasional forgetfulness when our memory fails us unpityingly. Typical scenarios would be – unable to place a familiar face we come across in a crowd, searching frantically everywhere for the keys we placed somewhere the previous day etc. I’m currently faced with one such predicament, but it’s actually a little odd because it is related to locations, rather than the usual things or people.

First, let me give some background. I usually make almost all the sightseeing and travel plans in my house, as I have great interest to explore new places. Needless to say, I keep track of every place we have already been and also those we desire to visit and plan all the little details about the trips.

Sometime back, I suggested to my husband that we visit the Japanese Garden in downtown. He responded back with confidence that we have already been there a couple of years ago and that it isn’t very magnificent to visit it again. But alas! I don’t remember anything about it – not even a clue or vague feeling, even when my husband was trying to make me recollect things by recounting some of our actions there – how we walked along a stony path, how we fed little fish in the pond etc. Though there was a little seed of doubt that sprang up in my mind about my claim, I adamantly professed that I’ve never been there. I even suggested that his recollections might be part of his earlier visit with friends, without me. My husband’s conviction matched mine. Unfortunately, there were no pictures to support my husband’s argument, which I’ve taken as further proof that he was just imagining things.

However, in the end I succeeded in persuading him to take me there. On the little chance that I’m indeed wrong, I surmised that perhaps the sight of the place would invoke in me long forgotten memories of my visit. But another surprise was waiting for me because I experienced nothing of such sort. Everything was new to me and so I held onto my belief that I have never been in that garden before. Even now I feel that it is my husband who is mistaken.

It should have been an isolated incident to be wondered/amused about if not for another one just a few days ago. I’ve got into my mind for quite sometime that I haven’t been to the Flight Museum till now and have been looking forward to visit it sometime. When I informed my husband about my wish, I was sure that he would accept my request. But to my dismay and surprise, he responded with a long  sigh and:

“What is the matter with you? Are you losing your mind? We have been there before our son was born – we saw lots of pictures on the wall. I remember that we had to shorten our visit because you were tired. No, not again to the Museum! 😦 “

So, what’s really the matter with me? 😛 😀 😛 😕 😛

Free the mind from expectations

5 05 2009

Sometime back my husband attended an Art of Living course. One day after the class, he came back home and revealed to me an all-powerful solution to most emotional suffering.

It goes something like this: if we accept things and people as they are, without any expectations, there wouldn’t be any inner turmoil.

When I first heard it, I didn’t realize the full magnitude of its significance. But slowly I kept mulling over it in the face of a number of personal issues. And began to understand the truth and depth of its meaning.

Most of the times, we have trouble in our relationships because of our conscious and subconscious expectations. We expect certain kind of gesture or behavior or words from others and become upset or angry when their reaction is completely different.

We simply dislike a person because he or she does not meet our expectations. We set standards, partly our own and partly passed on to us from others or society in general and like to see things and people performing within that standards. This kind of thought pattern has become so inherent in our personalities that most of the times we are just unaware of it.

As I started to apply it to simple situations in my life, I suddenly felt free of stress and burden and my heart felt light. Of course, I still have a long way to go to fully apply it to everything and everyone in my life and only then I can really experience the full impact of this deceptively simple principle.

However, I have to admit that it’s really very difficult to reach that ideal state: to be completely free of expectations of all kind. Still, that’s the direction one should move forward , for one’s own mental peace, if not for anything else.