He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.
The mind is even faster than any physical movement. When the mind is moving rapidly from one object to another, one subject to another, one venture to another, what you miss is the blooming of the flower that is inside you. You are not merely missing out on the details, you miss out completely on the existence of the flower itself.
Now what is that flower? It is your soul.
Let’s explore this idea further and ask a question: is it possible to move at speed and still be present in each moment? Can we reach a critical speed where we stand still in movement?
To understand this better, let’s revisit the diagram we have of the various bodies of a human being.
The soul is the center of our being, around which we have the four main subtle bodies that we know as the mind. The first is consciousness, the canvas that is the field or fabric of the subtle body. Then there is the ego, which is our identity, so it is also deeply entwined with the individual soul. Then comes intellect, which allows us to discern and make choices and then at the surface level of the mind we have the thinking function. And then there is the physical body, which is the outermost layer.
Now, settledness does not mean inactivity; in fact, it is activity at a dimension we have never conceived of before.
If noticed keenly, it is always the ‘subtle’ that supports the ‘less subtle’ in its wake. The soul is the subtlest, followed by consciousness, ego, intellect, mind and finally the physical body and hence the origin of the sequence in the order mentioned above.
Think of a wheel. The very center of the wheel is quite steady, without movement, whereas the circumference of the wheel experiences maximum movement. Similarly, the center of a tornado, the eye, is in utter stillness. If you want to be calm, position yourself in the center of the tornado and keep moving along with it and then nothing will affect you.
And what is our center, around which the vortex of life exists?
Let’s explore the physical end of the spectrum. The five senses are given to us for a noble purpose, but we are so busy using them for our pleasures at the physical level that we misuse them. For example, we have eyes so that we can look around and protect ourselves and see things better; that is their main purpose. But we use the eyes for a different purpose that is desire-based, drawing us outwards, creating a vacillating mind and disturbance. Then we are unable to focus on our center. If we focus on the steadiness of the soul, we will stay centered.
Consider it from another angle: the earth is revolving around the sun while spinning on its own axis at a very high speed. If you are seated at the Equator you will have maximum exposure to that movement at almost 1,000 miles per hour, whereas if you are at the North Pole you will feel as if you are stationary, as you are on the top of the axis. So the key is to find that axis within yourself.
How is this possible? It is possible only when you match your movements with those of your axis. And what are those movements all about? The ability of your mind to settle down.
(To be continued…)
Kamlesh D Patel is the fourth spiritual Guide in the Sahaj Marg system of Raja Yoga meditation. He is a role model for students of spirituality who seek that perfect blend of eastern heart and western mind. He travels extensively and is at home with people from all backgrounds and walks of life, giving special attention to the youth of today.