How do we live sane in this digital world?

Digital is not the problem. You are the problem. Digital can be good and bad. If there is no digital, how are we gonna sit here and now in the whole world with many people reading this. If there was no digital, how can you put something live on youtube? Not possible.

So the fault is not of digital, you tube etc.

It’s mine, my heart. If my mind can change, no matter what happens digitally, I will be okay.

So how do we do that?

A lady I have known for many years, asked me, ‘oh! you are saying meditate but I cannot bring myself to do that. I have been trying for so many years’. 

I said, ‘first, maybe your entire mind is not on it. You still may not have realized the importance of it. If you did, you will do it. If I am hungry, I will eat. That hunger has not yet come. It comes during various circumstances. It happens and then I decide to do it because M told me that if the mind is calm it is full of energy and I can tune in to universal energy’. But mind cannot be calm because it is always agitated. Various thoughts come. This is the nature of mind. I am not denying it. It’s a fact. 

How do we go about calming the mind so that the energy we have comes in full force.

The mind is like nature and nature abhors a vacuum. If you try to create a vacuum, air tries to rush. The nature of the mind is if you try to make it quiet, more thoughts come to it.

So what do we do? There are many approaches to this.

An approach which anybody can practice daily and gradually improve – It is futile to say that I want to keep my mind quiet. It cannot happen because I am ‘trying’ to keep my mind quiet. I am the problem. So what do I do? The problem is that my mind is occupied by innumerable thoughts, innumerable – there is no count and I am saying I am going to be quiet. It’s not possible. It’s a fact. So what do I do?

Can I shift the mind to one thought so that it is not distracted by many? To something thast’s not connected to the outside world. Is there anything like that within us which is not connected to the outside world but it’s common to all human beings. Irrespective of race, sex, gender – The Breath! Whether you like it or not, from embryo onwards breathing starts. You don’t say breathe and therefore it breathes. It’s automatic. And when it stops, what happens? In Gujarat they say – off ho gaya – finished,it’s over! And so it’s so important. It goes on and is not under our control.

This breath is so important. You can live without water for some time, without food for some time, but you cannot live without breath for half a minute, normally, unless you are a great yogi who does not need to breathe. You can’t!

So before I proceed, here’s a story.

There was a great yogi who lived in Benaras, near the Ganga. His name was Shyama Charan Lahiri, known as Lahiri Mahashaya. His friend’s son became a doctor.  He told his son, “since you are going to join medical practice in Benaras, my friend Lahiri lives there. He is a great yogi, go and meet him and take his blessings and then go to work”.

He said – Okay. He didn’t know. He was innocent. So he took his little bag with a stethoscope etc and went there and saw this man sitting cross legged in his palaver.  He paid his respects and  said, “I have become a doctor and my father told me to take your blessings”.

He said,  Okay, you are the son of …

Then Lahiri Mahashaya said, according to you and medical science, what are the symptoms of a dead person? He said – first the breath stops, pulse stops. After a while the solar plexus also becomes cold. If these symptoms are there, we declare the person clinically dead.

He asked – have you got your stethoscope with you?

Yes sir.

He said – After two minutes, please check me.  And he sat cross legged and took two breaths. The boy waited, then he checked. After a while he found that there is no breathing, there is no heartbeat, there is no pulse and then he put his hand on his solar plexus, it was becoming cold.

He thought Lahiri Mahashaya died in front of me, just now. And this went on for 5- 6 minutes. Then he made a lot of noise and the whole family came running. 

What is it?

He said – He just died in front of me.

They said – he will come back. You please relax.

Why I am saying this is because except for yogis like that, we need to breathe. Breath is so important. After half a minute, you feel suffocated if you don’t breathe. It’s so important.

Yet we don’t give any attention to it. In fact, we don’t even know how to breathe properly. We don’t know how to fill our lungs with oxygen. Breath, therefore, is our life. It’s so important.

So for  a change, can we give attention to our breath,  which is so important, for at least for 10 minutes to 15 minutes in a day? How do you do that?

Sit quietly. If you try to stop the mind from functioning , it’s not going to work because it is always occupied. So occupy it, don’t try to stop it, occupy internally with the breath. It’s called breath work.

Watch the breath.

As you inhale and exhale, give complete attention to your inhalation and exhalation.

Be aware of your breath as it goes in, as it goes out.

Now what has happened! You are not keeping the mind unoccupied, you are keeping the mind occupied with the breath. Therefore, it is free of other occupations.

Mind cannot be kept without occupation. Occupy it with the breath. When it is occupied with the inhalation and exhalation, slowly you will find that the rhythm of the breathing also slows down remarkably. In the beginning you might feel like taking a deep breath. After that, it becomes very slow.

The slower the breath, the slower the movement of the mind. And finally you begin to enjoy that quietness of the slow breath with complete attention. You get hooked to the enjoyment inside, therefore you become free of the enjoyment outside. 

And since you are not engaged outside, you are able to go deeper into your inner mind.

As you go to deeper recesses of your mind, to the core of your consciousness, you suddenly discover that you are not this body but something else. You may call it jiva, you may call it rooh, or any other different name. This is the essence of our being which is in us,  which is a spark of the divine.

It is so simple. It’s not so difficult. You don’t need elaborate rituals to reach there. You just need to understand this much, that going in is a very important part of our life because all the time we are outside. This going in, in Vedanta, is called the Nivriti Marga.

-Sri M

About The Satsang Foundation

The Satsang Foundation, founded by Sri M, is a meeting point for spiritual seekers of all persuasions. The Satsang Foundation also extends a helping hand to the less privileged of society.