When lusty feelings, envious thoughts, or negative self-talk strike one after the other, you could be in denial- “Think positive, life’s o.k. everything is fine.” If you do that you are simply ignoring the undertow that would in no time drag you deep into the rough ocean!
Or you could challenge these ‘waves’ and fight them, only to be vanquished with contempt. We stand no chance against the terrible waves unleashed by the mind. Until of course we chose to negotiate them.
Two ways to cope with the mind- Transcend and/or Pray
When a spiritual practitioner faces a strong desire that’s unhealthy, he doesn’t seek to gratify it nor does he hate himself for the desire. He simply ‘rises’ above the ‘wave’- sees himself as separate from the mind. He lets the thought pass, even as he swims happily in his spiritual practises. If however, the desire overwhelms his mind, he humbly surrenders to God; with arms in front, he bows to the Lord in his heart, and escapes the lashing wave that threatens to break the backbone of his spiritual life.
Either transcend the mind or surrender to God. Both these acts help us not only escape the mind’s battering, but also enjoy life more fully.
Examples from History
History is replete with examples of men and women who braved the challenges posed by the cribbing mind. Many successful people on planet today have had their share of failures and low moments.
The Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bacchan is a classic example. Although his voice has an iconic status today, he was once upon a time rejected by All India Radio because they didn’t like his voice. He worked in thirteen box office disasters before he tasted success. And in his mid-fifties, after a series of financial debacles, he was on the verge of bankruptcy.
He faced these failures bravely, held on to life, let the bad tidings pass and today is a legend- a household name in India. Loved by many for his learning attitude, he has never pushed his weight around or thrown tantrums on sets. Life has humbled him, and graciously he moved on.
J.K. Rowling is the world’s first billionaire author, but she had her nervous, fearful moments in life. She held on, in faith. “I wasn’t going to give up until every single publisher turned me down, but I often feared that would happen,” said Rowling in one candid interview.
This simply goes to show that the inner world of the famous and successful people is as fragile as yours and mine. But the difference is they chose to live beyond their minds.
To be continued…