The mind indeed is the cause of one’s bondage and one’s liberation.
Yogic scriptures describe the mind as an inner instrument. It stockpiles our memories, manifests our hopes and desires, and manages our daily activities. Yet despite the central role it plays in our lives, we rarely think about the mind itself. It is difficult to even easily define what we mean by “the mind.”
A working knowledge of our mental terrain is like a map. It allows us to see where we are going in meditation and shows us how to get there. Yoga philosophy provides a map of the mind that complements the practice of meditation. It opens the door to a new way of seeing human affairs and helps us solve the puzzle of who we are. We offer comprehensive best yin yoga teacher training in india which makes you a certified yoga teacher of this ancient practice.
It is through the channels of the senses and the sense organs (eyes, ears, hands, feet, etc.) that the mind receives impressions from outside, and acts on the outer world. Mind and body are a subtly integrated team.
Even though the mind’s functions are seamless, yoga philosophy nonetheless identify four distinct realms of activity.
1. The everyday conscious mind, manas.
Manas is the supervisor of the senses. It is considered to be the lower mind, which interprets information from the external environment by questioning and doubting. It is blending sense impressions of the outer world with experiences already stored in the mind. Manas is also sometimes called the “indecisive” mind because it is a good collector and displayer of information but a poor decision maker. If we allow this part of the mind to make most of the decisions we become slaves to the insatiable desire of the senses. It is also referred to as our “monkey mind”, jumping around with no direction.
For meditators, the first step is to give the lower mind a stable focus. Usually that focus is the breath or a mantra. This is the beginning of the process of resting your attention.
2. The subtle and quiet witness of experience, buddhi.
The buddhi assigns meaning and value to experience. It is important to be aware that the mental screen not only registers impressions from outside, it colors them as well. Memories of past encounters with the world, and images of future ones, shape the present. It is buddhi that helps us determine the value of our actions. When it is purified, the buddhi provides a refined reflection of consciousness itself. Our Yin yoga teacher training is an internationally accredited course. Learn to teach yin yoga with our one week intensive course.
The activities of manas focus on sensory experience, on the fulfillment of instinctual urges, and on the pursuit of everyday pleasures. Yet are often described as a kind of sleep. They sleep to the deeper experiences of life. The aim of meditation and the goal of the spiritual journey is to wake up and return to ourselves. To develop an awareness of yourself as a silent witness—a center of consciousness from which other mental activities can be quietly observed. You become aware of your own awareness.
3. The sense of individuality or self-identity, ahamkara.
Ahamkara can label or color the incoming sensory impressions with “I like” or “I don’t like” and “me” and “mine”, therefore it is ahamkara that builds the identity of an apparent individual. All coloring created by ahamkara together makes up the ‘ego’. It is the deepest root level of the unconscious mind, the store-house of all reactions. The entire journey in yoga culminates in the removal of these stored reactions through the observation of the chitta by the conscious mind during meditation. We are Conducting Yin Yoga Teacher Training in India.
4. The reservoir for storing habits and latent impressions, deposited in the unconscious mind, chitta.
The chitta is the unconscious storehouse of past thoughts and experiences—the bed of memory, the feeling mind. It accumulates impressions and blends them with current mental imagery to give understanding and richness to experience. Stored impressions are propelled back onto manas in the form of habitual behaviors or desires.
The process of meditation deposits impressions of peace and acceptance in the chitta. These provide support during future periods of meditation.
Normally Buddhi is clouded over by the habit patterns of Chitta that are in turn tainted by Ahamkara. Our ego has attached to the thought patterns of Chitta instead of connecting to the higher quality of the mind, which has the ability to experience pure consciousness.
During meditation, distractions arise from manas that alert us to the many layers of experience stored in chitta. Buddhi examines these impressions—both in the form of thoughts and feelings, and later as the habits and behaviors of everyday life.
Buddhi is the decision maker, and as it awakens, it learns to make decisions wisely.
But while an awakening of the buddhi can help us in daily life, the goal of meditation is not simply to make us better decision makers or to enable us to gather more life experience. The awakening of the buddhi helps us turn back into ourselves. It shows us how to recapture awareness of the inner Self, the source of our conscious awareness.
This is a process that unfolds slowly and gradually, but it is not uncharted territory. Start by quieting yourself, learn to observe the passing activities of your lower mind, and awaken your buddhi, the inner witness.
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