What to Do When the Mind Keeps Spinning | Mark Whitwell
By Mark Whitwell | Heart of Yoga
Doubt is the condition of the human mind in modern society. The doubt of being what we are, the doubt of our connection to Life, the doubt of our essential condition as the power of the cosmos. The usual lifestyle transmits this doubt from moment to moment causing pain in the nervous system and terror in the mind: not yet valid, not yet realised, not yet connected, not yet enlightened, not yet loved, not yet whole.
Civilization itself — entire philosophies, religions, scientific systems and culture — has developed based upon this root presumption of doubt. We are seeing the results of this insanity like never before.
Conventional spirituality is not an alternative to the presumption of doubt, but a reaction to the contraction in the brain core caused by the pain of feeling separate from everything. In the pain and the failure of the usual life to bring happiness, we get seriously hopeful with meditation, mindfulness and yoga method trying to manipulate ourselves into a ‘higher place’ — to escape the pain.
Power structure and charming knowledge authorities sell their shoddy goods to a gullible public — their heroic trajectories to a future peace that a few ‘amazing people’ have managed to attain. This proposal of a future realization only reinforces our presumption of separation in the here-and-now and makes us more miserable, albeit hopeful. The idea of the perfect person (enlightenment) deepens the idea that we are somehow less.
“Whatever you do in the pursuit of truth or reality,” my teacher U.G. would say, “only takes you away from your own natural state in which you always are. The search is always in the wrong direction, so all that you consider very profound, all that you consider sacred, is a contamination in that consciousness.”
Real yoga, real religion, begins when we become completely fed up with the insanity of civilization, tired of the search, and decide to live a different way. This is not an attainment or a ‘becoming’ but merely and sheerly a relaxing into what you already are, a releasing of the imposition of culture, an enjoying of the inherent unity condition that is the cosmos.
“Man becomes man for the first time,” U.G. continued, “when he frees himself from the burden of the heritage we are talking about, the heritage of man as a whole. To be yourself requires extraordinary intelligence. You are blessed with that intelligence. There isn’t anything to get from anybody. It’s ridiculous to ask for something that you already have.”
The main point here is that we are not and cannot be separate from Nature. The state of a future re-unification proposed by religion and spiritual traditions does not exist. I like to ask people if they have noticed recently that everything in the natural world is utter beauty: the stars, trees, sun, moon, the water, the animals. Every time people acknowledge that yes this is obviously true.
Well, I respond, you too are of the natural world. You too are the beauty. When we walk outside and see a beautiful sunset, it is Mother Nature perceiving Mother Nature.
So when you think about it there is only One Reality. The universe comes perfectly and is awesome in its integration and infinite nurturing existence. Every person, every creature, every grain of sand is the full blown wonder of life, already. In a very literal sense, the doubt we experience in the mind is not real — it is just thought, a flicker in the brain core.
The whole point of yoga is to recognise and then participate in that power that is beyond all of the mind’s doubt. You have recognised that there is a root condition, there is a pure essence of being — the power of the cosmos — and that is the basis upon which any experience can happen, including the experience of doubt, anxiety, fear, uncertainty.
The recognition of the unity condition that is life itself and anybody in that condition, supersedes all aspects of partiality that make us fearful. It frees you to say to yourself that what you are is Reality Itself, even if my mind still has patterns of dissociation and fear. It’s like a spinning fan, you don’t want it on anymore and so you turn off the switch. That’s the deal. And as it slows down, you don’t worry. If the mind continues to spin with anxiety so be it. In fact trying to be philosophical, trying to stop the mind, trying to meditate, makes it worse, is an anxious activity.
What we can do in the meantime is practice the yogas of participation. Quite simply, yoga is the unitary movement of body, breath and mind. By moving and breathing in beautiful rhythmic patterns of the breath, the mind gets linked to the whole body and the whole body is the power of the cosmos, is the natural world. This is not a method or a search for a future result — it is direct participation now in the substance of life itself that you actually are.
Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, the man who rescued these yogas from obscurity and brought them into the modern world, would say that the problem with yoga is that the results are unpredictable. We don’t know when they will come; but they do come. Civilization’s patterning of doubt vanishes. And the mind falls into its natural biological role as a function of the heart, the communication mechanism of life, that’s all.
So get up in the morning, at any time that suits, and move and breathe in the One Reality that is All. You will find that the bhav of unity sweetness that you enjoy in your practice will naturally permeate your daily life — effortlessly, spontaneously — as a siddhi or gift.
“This articles is part of a series in which Mark Whitwell tackles humanity’s dysfunction around intimate relationship and the root cause of sexual abuse in societal patterns of separateness, conflict, fear of commitment, and co-dependency. How the real pleasure of intimacy that Yoga gives is the social solution that vanishes the duplication of limiting beliefs. That transform life to be intimate connection to Life as it actually is, for everyOne”.
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