By Suma Varughese
Suma Varughese is identifying less with her mind and is, therefore, less in its grip, thus healing herself
I have been an obedient disciple of the mind. I identified with all that it thought or felt or fantasised. Fears would leap up and take me captive. Anger would surge and sizzle through me, causing me to spill all sorts of hot, unconsidered words. Come to think of it, it still does, though perhaps less often. Hurt would always find me a ready receptacle. All sorts of thoughts would place their seed in my mind, and find in it a fertile soil for growth.
Managing this mind has been therefore an all-consuming task. For the last several months, though, my sadhana has been to simply acknowledge to myself whatever showed up. “This alone is," I would tell myself and just say, “Thoughts, and resistance to thoughts, feelings and resistance to feelings, physical sensations and resistance to physical sensations.” If the emotional trigger was intense, I would acknowledge the reason: “I am feeling angry because so and so did not smile back at me,” or “I am feeling taken for granted by so and so who did not seem to recognise how hard it was for me to get up at 4 am to collect her from the airport.”
Just chanting this litany tranquillises me wonderfully. I no longer feel so much in the grip of the emotion. If the emotion still clings, then I spend some time simply being with it, staying conscious of it and experiencing it fully. In time the emotion dissipates, though the more persistent feelings may take a few rounds of experiencing before they release their grip.
Interestingly, this formula works for physical sensations too, because they too have their genesis in emotional issues. Allergic colds have been a part of my healthscape for several years. In the last few months they have been on the wane, but each time I consume wheat or milk products, which I am allegedly allergic too, I tense up inside and become fearful that I may be inviting a cold. And sure enough the very fear creates the dreaded outcome. So these days when the possibility of a cold looms over me, I tell myself that I am experiencing fear that I may get a cold and resistance to that fear. Quite often, the body simply relaxes and I am soon able to spit out the phlegm and return to normalcy.
Thanks to this assiduous practice I am now reaching a stage where my mind stuff does not terrorise me as much as before. When I recently contracted a cold, my mind tried to go into the old familiar fear and freeze reaction, but this time, I was not buying in. Instead, I used my litany and when it still did not lift, I reminded myself of how unimportant a problem it was and that I had no business wasting my time with it. Because the real me was whole, perfect and complete, and health was my natural state of being.
This is holding me in good stead in other areas of my life too. I am still in the very early stages of my post-LP life, and after 40 years of a 9 to 5 existence, unstructured time has its terrors. What if I fail to use my time wisely and well? What if I fritter it away in all sorts of meaningless activities? The mind tries its best to scare me, but now I am not that easily scared. I am slowly, very, very slowly, getting that I am not the mind, therefore why take its stuff seriously?
These are early days yet and mind-identification is still the norm, but any step in moving beyond it and glimpsing the pristine Higher Self, silent as a Sphinx, yet resonantly present, is such a relief!
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