Are you struggling with problems in life?
Do you feel overwhelmed or depressed by your problems?
The first thing I learned about problems in life from my Guru, Paramahamsa Nithyananda (fondly known as Swamiji) is that our mind is not logical as such every moment our idea of pain, suffering, pleasure, joy, love and hate is constantly changing. Each problem is like a new wave which dissolves after sometime. The problem is we’ve been taught to think the mind is logical but the truth is the mind is more like an ocean. It is not a solid ground as we may like to believe, all ideas we carry about ourselves, ideas about love, pain, worries, fears, pleasure and God – these ideas are floating and not rooted.
One example in my life.
There was a time which I felt troubled in my marriage. I would imagine the different permutations of response I would give and the outcomes from my imagination. When I was diagnosed with Stage 3 cervix cancer in June 2005, suddenly the game of the mind shifted gear to the most basic survival need. The conflict in the relationship didn’t bother me after all, the issue of my basic survival became the main concern. This clearly showed that all my ideas of so-called problems in my life were just not solid. They existed based on my perception of suffering at that moment.
The second truth is that problem can wash away other problems, waves can dissolve waves. When one big survival-need type of problem hits me, it just washed away all my other problems. Other problems such as conflict in relationships and stress from job are no longer a concern. Suddenly all the problems I thought could never be resolved, just disappeared at that moment. Nothing really matters!
The third secret you should know is that whenever we undergo death-related fear, a huge energy is being released in the second energy center (Swadhistana chakra) – it is an automatic mechanism to bring us out of fear. Same way for pain experience, there is an automatic anaesthesia to protect us from pain. Beyond certain limit, we fall into the unconscious layer and we don’t feel the pain anymore. If we internalize this truth, we lose respect for the perceived problems and they no longer have power over us. It is by making the problem seems big that our mind feels big and important. But the mind is wavering, constantly it creates waves, hence Patanjali says Sutra Verse #2 ‘Mind is an action, you can stop it.’ The first step to get out of this mind game is to become aware that your understanding of problems is not right.
In Patanjali Yoga Sutra Verse 13, it states that ‘The effort to remain constantly in that elevated state of awareness is abhyasa: Tatra sthitau yatno abhyasa.’ Abhyasa means again and again bringng yourself back to the center, elevating yourself to the higher state of consciousness, centering yourself in that truth. By melting the incompletions or hangovers you created unconsciously and living the right truths will bring you back to the center again and again. This Sutra not only gave me one of the AHA! moments which shifted my perception about problems in life, but it also helped me to strengthen my spiritual practice so that I am able to find my center again and again.
Abhyasa (practice) is deeply connected to the muscles in our body. Whatever we repeat consciously become unconscious because it penetrates into the unconscious layers; that memory creates our body. Any conscious action you do again and again will strengthen you whereas any unconscious action you do repeatedly weakens your body.
Remember this truth – the problems we face are neither permanent nor impermanent as we perceive. We create problems from our unconscious practice or habits (negative abhyasa). When we are able to cognise this fundamental truth about problems, we can simply walk out of any problem and get back to our center of restful awareness. Namaste 😀