Detox the Mind!
Nowadays we often hear about detoxification or ‘detox,’ which means the removal of toxic substances from the body. We learn about it on TV, in newspapers and in the many books that have been published on the topic. It’s not unusual for a health practitioner to advise us to detox. Detox is simply the internal cleansing of our body.
Although God has given us marvelous physical bodies, which work well when life is lived simply, over time we human beings have fallen prey to the indulgences of over eating or of living on an unsuitable diet. And with the addition of modern-day pollution and chemicals in fertilizers, it’s no wonder that these combined factors have caused toxicity within us. As a result, our body’s natural chemistry is knocked off balance, often bringing weakness or illness. From this, a huge industry has developed offering detox to bring us back to health. However, far more challenging is the mind.
We can take comfort from the fact that, just as there are experts who can help us with our physical health, we can turn to experts who can show us how to detox our wayward minds. Mystics are those who have succeeded in conquering the mind, and a true mystic will give us advice without charging anything. They tell us that the mind has accumulated bad habits – toxic waste – over the many aeons it has spent in various life forms.
The mind was sent into this creation and given the opportunity to purify and evolve higher into the pure spiritual realms, but it has fallen victim to five deadly passions. We cry, we suffer, but still remain here. Lacking peace of mind, we also lack the conducive atmosphere necessary for our most important duty as spiritual seekers, our meditation.
Attachment is one such passion. We are often reminded that whatever we have in this life is temporary, and it is our attachment to such that lures us to this creation time and time again. Regarding perpetual suffering in the cycle of birth and death, Maharaj Charan Singh used to caution that we may not necessarily be reborn as a human being to fulfil our desires!
In the grip of another of the passions, egotism or ‘I’ness, on one hand we advocate that we have faith in our Creator, and that everything comes to us from the divine; but on the other hand, if anything adverse happens to us, we question – why me? Masters point out that nothing happens outside of the divine plan. Perhaps our suffering should be looked on as a blessing. If we are suffering today, it’s because we are being cleansed by divine intervention, because the Lord wants us to return to our true home.
Guru Amar Das tells us:
We are so polluted with Maya that we are blinded and deafened,
Unable to see or hear the Divine Shabd resounding within us.
It is because we have given in to this wayward mind, which is like a wild, untamed animal, that we lose our happiness and peace of mind. The mind must be tamed if we are to be liberated from our sorrowful state. Naturally the question arises as to whether there is hope for us and whether we can ever be released from our grief and turmoil. Spiritual adepts console us:
If a garment is soiled it can be washed with soap,
But a soiled mind full of sin can only be detoxified with Nam.
Guru Amar Das tells us where we may obtain this purifying Nam: The priceless Nam is a free gift that the guru gives us.
This Nam is the most precious gift that the Lord can bestow upon a human. It is the sound current resounding within every human being and can be contacted upon initiation by a true Master. To tread the spiritual path leading to salvation, the Masters give us a principled plan for our day-to-day life. Living within the principles forms a fence around the crop of our spiritual harvest.
Following this spiritual plan means disciplining the mind. For instance, we can easily turn down an offer of non-vegetarian food with a firm ‘no thank you’, knowing that departing from our diet would hinder our spiritual development. In the same way, to detox the mind, we need to learn to say ‘no thank you’ to any thought or situation which goes against our spiritual principles.
We need to be mindful of the daily drama and chaos of the world and protect ourselves with our morning simran and bhajan. Meditation is when the spiritual ambrosia from the inner spiritual realms cleanse, calm and purify the mind.
Maharaj Charan Singh often said, “As we are starting a new fresh day, why not start it with his remembrance so that we carry the peace and tranquility around with us.”
The simran given at the time of initiation will constantly aid us so that the mind is gradually but surely cleansed, making way for divine love to pour in and give us a permanent detox.