8 Astonishing Tendencies of the Mind: Knowing Them Will Change What You Think You Know About Your Own Mind

By Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar┃Posted: December 23, 2018

1. When the mind dies, love dawns.

Whenever there is love, the mind dies and this is painful. That is why love always brings pain with it. Something in you is dissolving – the ego, the mind – and this dissolving is painful. The mind does not want to dissolve. It wants to emphasize its existence. It doesn’t want to bear the pain of dissolution, the pain is unbearable. You often find people who love each other fighting, and you really don’t understand why they should fight when there is so much love. These are the mechanics: the love is so powerful, the mind cannot hold it. It wants to hold but it cannot stay. It cannot exist. It dissolves and this brings pain. So, in order to get rid of the pain, it rebels. And that rebellion is the fight. When you surrender to somebody, this is more evident. It is clearer.

2. The mind wants something impossible!

The mind has a peculiar nature. It desires something, and when it acquires or achieves it, it no longer finds it interesting. It drops it and moves away from it because it can’t stand being totally in the present. It dissolves. And if it doesn’t achieve what it wants, it gets frustrated. Then too, there is a rejection, a rebellion in the mind. Have you observed this? You want something and crave it. And if you can achieve it, if you get it, the mind is no longer into it. It drops it very easily, very quickly. It doesn’t find joy in it.

It wants something that is not around. It wants something impossible. The moment it becomes possible, it moves away from there and goes further. It’s not anybody’s fault. It is the nature of the mind. It is used to living on craving. Fulfilled or unfulfilled the mind is lead to frustration.

3. Wherever you go, you carry your own mind!

If you are peaceful, your surroundings become peaceful; your situation becomes peaceful and people around you become peaceful. You are the center of this universe. Why are you looking for peace anywhere else, with anybody else and with any other set up? Wherever you go, you carry your own mind. And wherever you go, you create the same problems. It may appear to be calm and quiet for some time in a new place but then it will be the same again there too. Unless you see this, realize it and look into it, nothing will help in the long term. There is no other permanent solution.

4. The limited mind always does business everywhere!

The limited mind is trying to do business in the name of love. In every relationship, you will find that people demand more. And even if they give, they still think they should receive much more than what they have given! One feels that he has given enough! In any relationship, everybody feels that they have done everything for their family and so the family must love them. Everything that we do is in order to get love, attention, recognition or something. This is a business. Doing something in order to get something is business.

5. All the desires arise when your mind is not fully conscious!

A semiconscious mind is the mother of desires. If it is unconscious, no desire comes, for instance, in sleep there is no desire. And when the mind is fully awake, then also there is no desire because everything is already acquired; one is fulfilled. What does desire mean? It means a lack of joy and fulfillment, and a need  for fulfillment and joy. It is not that if desires arise, they should be stopped. When they are there, they are there. When desires arise, you should become more conscious and be aware of your nature.

6. The mind swings between extremes!

Suppose a delicate piece of silk cloth is caught up in a thorny bush. One needs the skill to remove it. It is the same with the mind. It is very easy for the mind to either like or dislike something, or swing between these two extremes. The mind exists by doing this. It cannot exist without these opposites, without the duality, without the swing. Either the mind will like or dislike something. The mind hates something, and then, again it loves something else. The mind goes towards whatever one understands is bad or not right (what we should not do). It does it more often. Also, the mind is attached to some ideals and resolutions. ‘I must do this, I want to be like that,’ and then one finds it very difficult to follow those ideals. You have all experienced this over and over again.

7. There is one golden point by which the mind can be lifted up, and that is a wonder.

Wonder is that state where there is no concept, no mind. One slips very easily from wonder to concepts. It is such a fine balance! Wonder about the concepts of likes or dislikes. How it should or should not be. What I want and what I don’t want. In wonder, there is no wanting or not wanting. Wonder is a wonder! In wonder, there are no likes or dislikes. What ‘is’, is a wonder.

8. Your mind is not clear and focused when there is an obsession or a burning desire.

See how calm, collected, cool, and aware your mind is when these desires drop. See how clear and focused you are. Many people have never experienced such focus, such clarity in all their lives! This is their misfortune. I can only wonder at how those who have experienced even a little bit, get into desires and lust. Knowing it, you still get into it. I am not saying this is bad and you shouldn’t do it, because then the mind will say, ‘No, I shouldn’t do it’ and then the whole trip begins. Look and wonder about these samskāras(impressions) in you. At that very moment, they dissolve and you rise above them.​

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