Once a King was discussing life with Yogi.
The king asked Yogi, “What do you and your disciples do in your monastery?”
The Yogi answered, “We sit, we walk, and we eat.”
The King said, “Then how are you different, from common people, for we do those things as well?”
The Yogi responded, “When we sit, we know we are sitting. When we walk, we know we are walking. When we eat, we know we are eating.”
That's mindfulness. When you are performing any act, you know exactly what you are doing. You perform with all senses.
We become emotional and respond, or we respond based on what we believe. We are also aware about the concept of left and right brain. Left brain is logical, analytical and methodical; however the right brain is more creative, intuitive, emotional. It also means that we human beings live with mind and heart. The mind and heart will not always be the same.
The famous movie, ‘Indian’ was released in 1996. Kamal Hasan played the double role of Father and Son. Father is a freedom fighter, very strong on his own ethics and loves India from the heart. When he comes to know about the corrupt practices, he starts killing those corrupt people. His son is also a corrupt RTO officer. Son approves the permit of an unfit school bus by taking the bribe. After a few days, while going to school, an accident happens, taking the lives of small children.
When the father comes to know this, he feels very sad knowing his own son is a part of a corrupt system. He decides to punish the son and punishment means death. Manisha Koirala, fiancée of the son, pleads not to kill him ‘would be husband’. Father asks her, “Do you think that he has done right by taking bribes and approving the permit for an unfit bus? Because of him 25 children died. He could have avoided the accident.”
Manisha Koirala replies, “दिमाग मानता है, लेकिन दिल नहीं (Mind agrees but not my heart.)”
Father replies firmly, “मेरा दिमाग और दिल एक ही है (My mind and heart is the same.). Please don’t stop me”
When you have to make the choice between heart and mind, what will you choose? The difficult dilemma always. Our dominant part takes over and we make decisions accordingly. It is highly impossible to have the mind and heart the same, but balancing is a must. Emotional intelligence helps us to make better choices in life.
As per the Zen philosophy, we have 3 states of mind, Reasonable mind, Emotional mind and Wise mind. This philosophy is also used to treat borderline personality disorder. Therapy is known as Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT). DBT looks at the mind in two-part, Reasonable mind and Emotional mind. You can relate this to the left brain and the right brain. We need balancing. That balancing mind is ‘Wise Mind.’
Common people do all things with either Reasonable or Emotional mind, however people who practice mindfulness like Yogi, use ‘Wise mind’. In simple language, your Emotional mind is your feelings, Reasonable mind is your thought based on facts and Wise mind balances both, knows which part of the mind is acting and responses wisely.
Wise mind is the state of mind in the middle of both logical and emotional mind. In a Wise mind, we are aware of our feelings, and we decide how to act in a way to honour our feelings and goals. In a Wise mind, if we were angered, we would acknowledge our feelings and act in a way that would not create negative consequences for ourselves.
You don’t need to be Yogi or Buddha to be in the state of Wise mind. It needs practice. Whenever you are in any situation or you have to make choices, decisions, if you are struggling with dilemmas use following tactics.
Just observe the situation, behaviour of another person and its impact and also your behaviour, feelings and thoughts.
Take a pause instead of responding and acknowledge those feelings.
Be in the present situation, experience what you are feeling, without thinking much of the past and future.
Don’t be judgemental by tagging good or bad. Just check observable facts.
And be effective without allowing your emotions to control your behaviour.
The Wise mind will create some sort of stress, to know what it means and why they are feeling it. But this frame of mind also allows you to see a way through. It accepts reality and works to change what it believes is changeable.
“Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think. Joy follows a pure thought like a shadow that never leaves”: Buddha