Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Renouncing the Monkey Mind

Article written for SIGNews monthly publication January 2011.


Renouncing the Monkey Mind

This new year is the perfect time for you to rededicate yourself to the discovery of your True Nature which is pure consciousness, absolute bliss, all knowing, ever-lasting peace.  In yoga philosophy your True Nature is called the Atman, or the radiant soul of Divinity.  The Atman is one with Brahman, loose translation "God."  For example, if the sun was God, you are a ray of light. There is absolutely no separation.  In Yoga, Divinity is the Essence within everything that exists.  It is your True Nature.

Often in our lives we allow the ego, or mind, to rule our life.  If the mind thinks of something, whether food, an object, a goal, etc. we will fulfill its request.  For example if I'm grocery shopping and I have a strong like for dark chocolate, when I see dark chocolate on the shelf, the subconscious mind pops up and says "Oh I want that, I know I like that." Then immediately my hand reaches for the chocolate bar and it goes in the cart.  Or maybe you have a thought "I need a new TV."  A desire is created then you go shopping and purchase one.

However, this cycle of thought/desire, run after it, feel satisfaction, new thought/desire, run after it, feel satisfaction, new desire, etc. is the endless cycle of the monkey mind.  It jumps from one desire to another, never providing sustainable, lasting inner peace and happiness.  This is called the psychology of restlessness.  If desire did lead to the ever-lasting peace and happiness that we all seek, then we would simply need to fulfill just one desire.  

The nature of the mind/ego is to pull our attention to the external world, the land of sensory objects, and away from our True Nature.  This is the very reason that yogis dedicate themselves to unveiling the Atman... to constantly live in the ever-lasting peace, infinite bliss and pure consciousness that is within each of us all the time.  It is difficult to identify and relate to the Atman since the veil of desire and attachment is so strong.

Yoga helps to calm the monkey mind.  Your will is strengthened to stop looking for happiness in the external world of desires and start looking for peace of mind.  By practicing yoga asana classes (exercise) and pranayama (proper breathing) thoughts of desire become less strong, less frequent and the practitioner receives glimpses of the Atman.  So start looking for peace of mind, rather than "looking for happiness."  It is only then that you will be guided to the ever-lasting happiness that we each seek.

Yoga is a philosophical tool that will light the way for you to realize your True Nature.  This year, dedicate yourself to the discovery of your Radiant Self.  Try something new.  Challenge yourself to step outside your comfort zone.  Take a yoga class.  Go to a Deaf Yoga retreat.  Begin to take the necessary risks in your life to reclaim your Divinity.  It is only by doing this that you will feel the eternal peace, truths and bliss of the great Saints and Sages of yore.

Blessings on your journey towards your illumined Self.  Thrive in your Life!  It is possible at all moments and the peace and happiness will last and sustain you for eternity.  Thrive beloved... for this is your very nature, and you are worth it!  May 2011 shower infinite blessings to you and your loved ones!

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