The answers are all within us
Even those who have gone about life silently may have a simmering, suppressed anger faced with the hopelessness of the situation
The period of the Covid lock down has caused widespread anxiety and stress to countless millions across the world. There has been uncertainty, loss of lives and a growing panic on account of the elusive cure for this ,often fatal ,viral. All ‘normal’ economic activity has come to a grinding halt and this has led to loss of livelihood for millions.
Therefore, it is natural to expect that people may find it difficult to cope with the situation. Even those who have gone about life silently may have a simmering, suppressed anger faced with the hopelessness of the situation. It has exacerbated psychological traumas and worsened the intensity of depression.
It is in this context that the recent suicide of film star Sushant Singh Rajput has been much discussed. The obvious question that people were asking was why would a young, famous, wealthy and professionally recognised person be depressed? This question is also true for millions of people who are unable to cope but may not take the extreme step. Nevertheless, their lives wasted to an extent because they never truly achieve their potential. As a practitioner of mindfulness therapy and a healer, I’d like to focus on the cognitive aspects of traumatic stress disorder or depression and zoom into the role that self-awareness plays. Indeed, turning the gaze inwards helps to recognise one’s ability or inability to cope. That is the prerequisite for finding the strength to seek help.
Let me address the superficial way in which we judge material world happiness and how it has no connect to inner peace. Worldly possessions and material rewards act in the same way for the mind as sugar, caffeine, nicotine act physiologically. They make one crave for more. This ‘high’ is short lived. Every level of achievement sets a new benchmark and the previous high point becomes the lower mark thereafter. This can be emotionally exhausting. As the mind chases wants, the wants chase the being.
After a while of going round and round one after the other, one can no longer say who is chasing and who is being chased!
Mindfulness is a misnomer because it’s about more than the mind. It is about looking into one’s heart and the silence of the soul within us. If one finds that one’s heart is perturbed and inner harmony is disturbed, it should be raised as a red flag. This is where the tragedies are born when people become dead to their inner voice.
This consciousness of our peaceful inner self also frees us from the many roles, personas and possessions that plague our existence. It is these external facades that compel us to feed our ego with possessions. We realise that we are actually a nameless, faceless spiritual identity and not our body, renown and named identity.
Our soul and spirit do not consume our media coverage, fancy cars, expensive possessions, gourmet meals and exotic cocktails. It is only our bodily, ego driven, sensory fuelled persona that needs our consumerism, often without limit or satiation.
Much of the ego that defines a person depends on the judgement of others. It fears falling behind and therefore strives to do well and achieve more. Like any treadmill, a lot of energy is spent a lot of activity is done but no distance is actually covered. The spiritual person, mindful of self doesn’t depend on the external stimulus for elevated consciousness. The Gita teaches us that there are several planes of consciousness and that we must commit action as ‘Dharma’, in the spirit of duty without even expecting - forget hankering after - rewards or returns.
Love, compassion, peace and joy are matters of eternity and not of present possessions. If you can be happy with less, why would you ever chase more?
I want to acknowledge and underline that mental health is a subject of diagnosable care.
Psychiatric help can treat people in despair. However mindfulness meditation and other therapies such as white light meditation, access consciousness and immersive spiritual discourses can also ensure upkeep of mental health. They can prevent the person from becoming the patient ! Let us take a personal example of intoxication. If you don’t feel low you don’t need an external stimulus to make you high. Likewise, if you don’t feel poor you won’t hanker after monetary proof of possession to feel rich. Exactly in this line of logic ,if you feel mindful of the vastness and completeness inside you, you don’t need the smaller, pettier world outside.
Completeness lies within you.
Fulfilment lies within you.
The self help is inside .
Look inside - the answers are all there.
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