As the mind, so the world.
The world is not good or bad, it’s how we see it that makes it good or bad.
We carry around many false ideas or expectations of how circumstances, people or objects around us should be. Then, when they don’t turn out the way we wanted, we become annoyed, angry, irritated or fearful.
Negative Emotions Take Away Your Inner Peace
These types of negative emotions take away your inner peace. A peaceful mind is one in which the thoughts and emotions are loving, calm and balanced.
We live our lives in an inner world and an outer world. We have very little control over the outer world. However, we have full control over our inner world.
The inner world is the world of our mind.
The emotions and the intellect
The mind comprises the emotions and intellect. Both have to be tuned up to ensure inner peace.
The intellect has the ability to guide and uplift the emotions. The emotions overwhelm the intellect only when the intellect is weak.
Think of the intellect and the emotions as a river.
The flowing waters of a river can be compared to the emotions and the banks which direct the flow, can be seen as the intellect. If the banks are weak, the water overflows onto the surrounding land. However, if the banks are strong, they will successfully contain and channel the water within them.
To train the intellect to think high, loving and positive thoughts, it has to be fed high, loving and positive ideas. These are the healthy foods for the intellect.
Satsang rehabilitates the intellect and uplifts the emotions
Satsang is a Sanskrit word which is made up of two root words – ‘Sat’ and ‘Sang’. Sat means “truth”, “good” or noble. “Sang’ means ‘in the company of ‘ or ‘in association with’.
So, Satsang means to bring the mind to all that is good, pure and noble.
Good, pure, noble and self empowering knowledge and ideas can be found in inspiring people, literature and media.
To meet and congregate with others for the purpose of uplifting and inspiring the mind is also being in Satsang.
Besides providing healthy ideas and knowledge to the intellect, lower or negative emotions can be uplifted and transmuted into peaceful ones through Satsang. For example, if you are feeling down or disturbed, reading or hearing something inspiring can transform those emotions to happy emotions.
To ensure enduring change, you must re-educate the intellect with higher ideals and noble values of life that you gain through satsang.
The intellect is the captain of your ship of life. If you educate and train him up well, he will ensure a safe and happy journey throughout your life.
Keep up the inspiration
Partaking in Satsang is the first important step, but to keep up the inspiration, you have to follow through with these two crucial steps:
- Reflection on the high, noble ideas daily, and…
- Translating them into your own life.
Without these two steps, your freshly-inspired intellect will turn cold and dull again.
Reflection—a vital part of every seeker’s spiritual journey
If you are striving to improve yourself, then daily reflection is a practice you cannot avoid.
Reflecting on new knowledge gained or on inspiring ideas that you have learned is like revising your lessons after the class is over at school.
If you revise and review what you have learned, it will become easier to retain and reproduce in a test or exam.
So, spend some dedicated time daily in reflection. First thing in the morning is a good time because your mind is fresh.
Take this time to bring your mind to Satsang and then spend some more time after reading or listening to think over and try to remember what you learned.
The next day, first review what you had learned the day before. Only after doing this, take up something new. When you read or listened to new ideas, review them at the end.
Repeat the process everyday.
Translating new knowledge into your daily life
Reflection finds its fulfillment only when you translate that new knowledge into your life through your actions and responses in the world.
Coming back to the school example, learning what is said in the textbooks will only be useful when you are actually able to apply it in your daily life and work.
Daily reflection would ensure that new knowledge is not forgotten; and applying it in your actions will take it out of your head and place it in your heart as wisdom.
Wisdom is applied knowledge that brings inner peace.
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