Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Inspiration of the week

As promised, my inspiration for this week is a lecture me and C attended a couple of weeks ago. It was given by Dr Prashant Kakoday who spoke about consciousness. As such, this is also a continuation of the post about the documentary concerning consciousness.

Dr Kakoday talked about health, and the relationship between the mind and the body. For example, if we use our bodies in a wrong posture, we get physical pain, but the same applies to the mind: if our mind is in the wrong posture, we get mental pain. He talked a lot about the concept of ownership and of using the words my and mine. Whenever we think we own something, it becomes a burden because we get attached to it. This can be anything, from the smallest objects to other people, and is very relevant in relationships. Imagine, if you want to own something, it immediately creates problems for you: you worry about it being stolen, you start comparing it with that of others, you become afraid to lose it, and when you see that someone else has a better one you want a new one. And the more you own, the more problems you face because you need to protect these things and keep them from getting stolen or lost. Also, you get hurt if someone comments on them negatively because you link them with yourself and thus take the comments personally. Wouldn't it be great to enjoy everything without all the problems? Kakoday explained that the same applies to our physical body. If we think of it as our possession or as the essence of what we are, problems arise. He said that we should consider our bodies as vehicles that we merely use in this life, and as such consider ourselves as guests here. We are here for a little while, during which we might use our bodies and enjoy all there is, but we cannot own anything because we are simply guests and we belong to something much larger. He drew a picture of this to make it more clear, of which I made my own example:

In this picture, you are the star. The black line is a division below which is this physical world and above which is everything else. The white line is your journey, showing how small and short this life is, and how all the things you consider yours in your life are simply things of this short visit, belonging only to a very limited physical world.

With this, Kakoday wanted to highlight that the more we consider ourselves as guests, and the more we remember that we are the star, unattached to everything here, the more the position of our minds turn towards a healthier one, making us happy and balanced. This shift in posture does not mean that we need to give up everything, it will all still be there for us to use, love, and enjoy, and we can still buy things, but without the attachment and without the problems. So where to start? When someone in the audience asked this question, Kakoday simply said: as often as possible, simply think that you are only a guest, you are the star in the picture. Use this pattern of thought in your daily life, and if you want to go deeper, begin a daily routine of meditation.


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