Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Changing the Filters of Our Perception and the Yoga Connection

I remember reading a story about a woman who was walking outdoors with her two year old. She was totally absorbed with her own thoughts and was really not paying attention to anything else. She finally noticed that she was getting some very long and fixed stares from passers by. When she looked down she realized that her toddler had picked a lit cigarette up off the pavement and was happily smoking it as they walked along.

“Everything depends on your mental outlook…All of your experience is filtered through the creativity and appraisal of your mind. Happy and unhappy belong to your mind, not to the world.” _Yogi Bhajan

We don’t often consider the need to do ‘mental housecleaning’. Unless we can cut through the old clutter, how can we live in the present moment? How can we experience the fully human qualities of clarity, creativity, wisdom, joy, compassion and love on a day to day basis?

I recently had the opportunity to spend a weekend in Michigan, personally experiencing a whole day of meditations designed to balance the mind, from a Kundalini Yoga perspective. Fascinating! Since then I have been studying a compilation of lectures given over a 10 year period by Yogi Bhajan, the teacher who brought Yoga from India to North America in the 1960’s. The subject of these talks is The Mind.

At one point he says “If you go along with your mental intrigues, you will not get spiritual and have worldly success or happiness. You cannot reach that happiness and contentment no matter how many sophisticated intrigues your mind creates.”

Busted! Oh the mind just loves those games, and will do almost anything to keep them going. He says “We go temporarily blind and temporarily deaf. We become temporarily unintelligent. We cut ourselves off from our reality and our creativity and live the non-reality of a dream world created with our fears.”

I think we all know what it is like to be all fixated about some thought, problem or tangle in our own minds until our heads feel ready to burst. Habitual toxic thinking evokes habitual toxic emotions. Often we don’t consider the bombardment of stress our physical body experiences day after day just coping with this. Most importantly, by living reactively to the artificial and stressful environment created by our minds, we lose all chance of happiness.

Healthy thoughts create a healthy experience. All of our life experience is filtered through our own minds.

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