Our soul is naturally at peace and tranquil like a serene lake. But the mind like a water pump is constantly drawing from this reservoir and dissipating its attention in all directions, creating disturbance and restlessness.
Concentrated and still, our soul is a drop of that creative power that we know as God – a power that expresses itself within us as a blissful and enchanting ringing radiance. If we could only still the mind enough to perceive this expression of our soul, we would automatically experience our reality and achieve everything that we have ever hoped for.
Unfortunately, the mind’s constant search for happiness in the forms and faces of this world, which are at best uncertain, volatile and short-lived, leads us farther and farther away from the real and lasting bliss of the soul.
Given the nature of these external sources of happiness, we go through a roller coaster of emotions and states of mind that are anything but peaceful. We generally believe that anything or any situation that makes us feel sad is negative and, on the other hand, anything that makes us feel happy or hopeful is positive. In reality though, anything that excites our mind takes us away from our goal.
As practitioners on this path, what we are looking to achieve is equanimity.
Equanimity is an even state of mind, not stirred up by occurrences or disturbed by situations. It is a state of non-attachment to this world despite its ups and downs.
Let’s say that we are watching a football match and we are not siding with either team. On the other hand, there is someone else sitting and watching the same game with us who is a staunch supporter of one of the teams. Imagine his state of mind and reaction to every corner, foul, penalty or goal, and then let us picture our own…
We are constantly reminded that nothing in this world is real – relationships, possessions, name and fame, all are changing facets, taking us out of one illusionary and emotional whirlpool and hurling us into another. Our endeavour is to recognize the reality of this world and understand what it is doing to us.
Retaining our equanimity is a great asset to anyone who wants to still the mind and tap into the true reservoir of happiness, peace and bliss that lies within.
Many things can disturb the balance that we are seeking. Simple thoughts, for example, can easily snowball into desires, and these in turn can completely derail us from our goal and destroy our ability to concentrate and focus. This is why we need to watch our minds and control our thoughts.
It would also help to remember that life has to happen according to our karmas, but with the grace and guidance of our Master, every event we go through can strengthen our capacity to withstand life’s ups and downs. Not only that, the Master assures us that everything we must go through is for our ultimate spiritual benefit. Keeping this in mind helps us to maintain our balance so that, to a great extent, we can remain unaffected by the pain and pleasure of this world.
Practising equanimity and training the mind to remain still helps us to focus and bring our attention to the eye centre during our meditation. With all the attention gathered and whole, and the mind motionless and receptive, we will witness the grandeur of that divine ringing radiance within.
Once we are in touch with that Shabd, that ultimate source of happiness, the mind will no longer be vulnerable to the agitation of this world. There will be automatic peace and serenity, as our emotions settle, just like the calmness that descends after stormy winds subside.