Hello fellow yogis and welcome to my July blog. It’s always a challenge to know what to write but after spending a whole weekend at A Yoga Village, I was very inspired with Updesh Kaur’s workshop, Facets of the Mind. The mind is fascinating indeed.
This workshop was an invitation to study the evolution of the brain and workings of the mind, its thoughts and perceptions. It’s an extraordinary thing to clinically inspect your own mind without attachments or judgments. And it’s even more amazing how meditation can connect you to your mind and also how you can sit inside your body as a separate entity and witness your thoughts.
Through yoga, I have come to deeply appreciate my body as a wonderful vehicle that I inhabit, how my thoughts through external stimulation have protected and inspired me, and also how my senses and experience from my cradle-hood days have brought me to where I am in this moment of existence. My thoughts, ideas, words, actions, reactions, habits and perception has defined my reality. No matter the challenges, it’s with acceptance of external experiences that has allowed me to act positively and with awareness. Without this acceptance, there is always blame. With blame, we give our power away to whoever or whatever we are blaming. This understanding has allowed me to stay on track with my goals and aspirations. I can use my mind to serve me rather than have it master me based on my feelings and emotions.
This is the power of Kundalini Yoga. This style of yoga cuts to the chase and works from the inside so you can live a full, happy, conscious life. With internal balance you create a mirror of balance in the external world. The negative mind becomes the gift that we were blessed with and the positive mind becomes gratitude and love for life.
During this workshop, Updesh explained our three minds; negative (protective), positive (projective) and neutral. She asked us to introduce our mind to the group in any way we wanted. I described my mind from a neutral perspective as if I was introducing a friend so… as way of introduction…
Hop on the Jackie Train
My mind is a train. It has many compartments full of passengers. These passengers are negative, positive, artistic, creative, and even fearful and anxious at times. My brain keeps records of all these passengers. These passengers were born from all my external experiences, challenges and environment. All my senses of hearing, touch, sight, speech, taste and intuition have nurtured these passengers, otherwise known as my thoughts. These passengers have traveled with me throughout my existence in this body.
With this understanding, I’m mindful of which passengers get fed the most. I like to believe I’m always positive and upbeat but sometimes the negative becomes hungry and popsup demanding to be fed. However, it was this wonderful workshop and Updesh’s explanation that gave me clarity. Updesh explained that what we deem as the negative mind is really our protective mind, which has kept humanity safe for thousands of years and continues to keep me safe from harm. Our protective mind is called on the most because we as a species have faced wars, predators, disease, famine and many other natural and man-made disasters. Blessed with this negative/protective mind is like winning the lottery because we are here as evidence that it has served us well.
However, at least 95 percent of the population cannot move beyond their protective minds. They continue looking over their shoulder seeing only where they have been. It’s called living in the past and creates struggle as the present escapes them and they are blind to the future. That’s why food for thought is important. I’m more mindful of the value of my neutral mind. My neutral mind helps to bring my protective and projective minds into balance. How I feed my mind is just as important as the diet I bring to my body creating a healthier, happier spirit.
My mind also likes to stay on track, gliding along like a bullet train or perhaps slowly chugging as the track turns in a different direction. Sometimes I pull up at a train station and now and again people come aboard the Jackie Train. Some stay in the pages of my memory and some get off never to be seen again. One never knows when a train pulls up to the station who may want to board. I had a lovely surprise a few days ago when someone from my past of nearly forty-five years ago, hopped back onto the Jackie Train and said hello. What a lovely surprise.
That’s how thoughts work too. All of a sudden and out of the blue a thought will pop into your head triggered by something you experienced many years ago. Files are accessed, records retrieved and you either experience déjà vu or just a deep memory. PTSD also works this way, which is why it’s sometimes important to chug right on past a station or simply keep the doors closed. I certainly don’t want to be de-railed with unruly passengers. Through my yoga practice, I have developed an awareness of who I want to board my train.
What’s on your mind?
How would you introduce your mind? Would you be a vehicle, an animal or even a cloud of hot air? Can you look at your mind with neutrality? It’s a challenge but not impossible. Your mind is a map of your journey and you have arrived at your destination. It is “now” in this moment. So now what? What now?
Kundalini Yoga takes you deep into the workings of your life-force essence that is having a human experience. Some call it your soul, universal consciousness, and some call it God. Whatever you call it, your mind is there to serve your life force essence. You are your creator, sustainer and destroyer. You maintain the vehicle you inhabit including your mind. Yoga is where you get your tune-ups for mind body and spirit.
If you want to explore your purpose for being, you are invited to a FREE open house for Kundalini Teacher Training on Friday, July 20th at 6PM. For more information go to: https://clients.mindbodyonline.com/classic/ws?studioid=2488&stype=-8&sView=day&sLoc=0&sTrn=100000022