When we sit to meditate and observe the reality of ourselves within ourselves, there are certain perspectives that can come to us. I’d like to share one such observation that came to me as I sat and started the exercise of observing my mind, within my mind; observing my body, within my body.
Each thought or story that arises within our mind-space has content and nature.
When I say content, I mean the object of the thought itself. If my thought is ‘I want to buy a car’, then the content of the thought is the ‘car’. We have been taught by ourselves, through our associations with our societies, that this content is of primary importance. The fact that I want a ‘car’ has great relevance. We then start liking the story and put in years of effort to somehow, provide food and redemption to this thought, hoping to satisfy the need. This is one side of thought.
There is another side to thought – its nature. In the case of my above example, the ‘buy’ is the nature of the thought. In general broad terms, the nature of this thought is a desire, a craving. A desire implies a dissatisfied current state. If you look deeply into the nature of craving, you may see that it is nothing but a masked dissatisfaction of your present. In this example, the cause could be that you saw an ad for the latest model of a car; it could be that you saw your neighbor drive a car that you felt was better than the one you own; it could be that you felt the need to drive a car rather than the two-wheeler that you currently own. You can go deeply into the source of the thought and at the succession of thoughts and impressions that end up being the cause of this thought that you have.
I find this part of my mind, its nature, fascinating and extremely revealing of the deeper aspects of my mind. I find that when I dig deeper into the nature of mind, I see patterns in my mind that repeat, almost as if on a cadence. In the above example, I notice that when I buy the car, it ends up strengthening my craving pattern. Over time, the craving turns itself to another object, and I might then want to buy the other material object.
While we go about spending years of our lives trying to satisfy our cravings, I feel it is worth researching for ourselves whether satisfying our minds’ cravings really lead to the happiness our minds say they can lead to. A simple experiment could be to use the very next craving that appears on the screens of our minds to learn more about ourselves. You could simply observe the craving without reacting, however urgent or important it might feel at that moment. You might notice that the craving might re-appear on your screens again and again to start with. If you continue to observe it without reacting, you might notice that the craving appears lesser on your screens over a period of time.
Irrespective of the outcome on the screens of your mind, it will lead you to look at the nature of your minds. Over time, you will see patterns emerge that reveal deeper truths about the nature of your mind. The more you understand your nature, the more you will start feeling relaxed and a sense of freedom tends to encompass your mind.