Two valuable assets - The body and the mind. Managing them well helps us get the most out of life
Every individual is blessed with two great assets that cannot be taken away by anyone, except time. One is the physical body, and the other is the accompanying mind. There may be individual variations, but nothing is stopping each one from maximizing the potential of their particular body-mind unit. A shrub growing in a desert cannot be compared to a tree in a rainforest. In accordance with the surroundings, a bush in the desert tries to grow to its fullest as does a tree in a rainforest. Similarly, everyone has his or her circumstances to contend with, but what counts is the efforts made towards making the best of every situation and every moment.
Every individual is blessed with two great assets, the body and the mind, that cannot be taken away by anyone, except time.
Trees don't stop trying to grow and produce flowers and fruits after surviving a powerful storm, or a famine. Unless their roots are uprooted, growth in one form or another continues. Such growth may be slow, but it does not stop. The body works per this natural law. Some organs, especially the vital life-sustaining ones, have priority over nutrients in times of scarcity, but when there is excess, they don't take in more than they need.
The mind works according to a different set of rules, generally ones of its own making. The mind is the doorway to inner freedom, and as a result, it isn't rigidly confined by nature to a set order. The mind has the freedom to grow in any manner. The reins of the mind are in the hands of the individual. In its raw state, the mind is untamed. There is freedom in an untamed mind as long as awareness remains as the subjective observer.
A raw, untamed mind can be free mind when awareness remains as the subjective observer.
An untamed mind is also an unconditioned mind. Such a mind is not unruly or a troublesome, those are forms of conditioning just as in a very orderly and habit-driven mind. The mind is like an expansive wilderness area. There may be a lot of space to move around, but to safely traverse such a place, it may be better to stick to marked trails. The feet have to stay on the path while the eyes are free to look around.
Similarly, the mind may also be traversed using specific methods. The legs of attention and concentration should be on the process of choice, while the eyes of awareness are free to look around. There is much that may be learned from what the mind projects. Just as the scenery that is enjoyed on a trek cannot be transported back into the city, whatever is seen of the mind through the eyes of awareness cannot be brought into the present.
The trail that goes through the mind takes an individual from unconsciousness of the present to the awareness of the moment. Until that happens, the journey through the mind is incomplete, and awareness remains trapped in the mind. When a trail is safe, and there is comfortable footwear, the scenery can be enjoyed. But when danger approaches, the same landscape may become unenjoyable. Similarly, in the mind, there is safety and comfort as long as awareness remains of the mind and is not lost within the mind.
The one who has traversed all the trails in a wilderness area may become an expert and can confidently lead others through those trails. Similarly, the ones who have blossomed in awareness and can remain unruffled in the present regardless of external circumstances may be well equipped to share their experiences and methods. The eyes may read, and the ears may hear those methods, but unless the legs make the journey, it cannot become a real experience.
Every moment is an opening into the mind and a way out of the mind. As long as awareness can enter and leave the mind without becoming lost within the mind, the mind can turn into an asset. Just as the fresh air of untouched wilderness is refreshing, the freshness of an unconditioned mind is energizing. That energy can be transformed into words and actions. As long as there is no ownership of those words and actions, as "my words, my acts," the mind remains an uncontaminated source of energy.
The mind becomes an asset when awareness can freely enter and leave the mind without becoming lost within the mind.
The moment we seek ownership of the mind, it becomes our responsibility. Borders are drawn, walls go up, and freedom is lost. We may begin to shape the mind, cutting parts of it and building up other parts. Organizing the mind through habit and conditioning trims the mind's unlimited potential, making it very narrow and limited.
Most people are conditioned in one way or another, which makes them say, "I can only do this" or "that is out of my scope." This does not apply to most children. They don't limit themselves, and they are happy to try harder and push the limits of their abilities. Unlike a balloon, which bursts after a certain level of inflation, the mind can expand infinitely. The more the mind is pushed, the more pliable it becomes. Less it is pushed, the more rigid it becomes.
The mind becomes pliable when pushed.
Just as bending the body makes it flexible, using the faculty of awareness makes the mind less rigid and more supple. A supple mind flows with external circumstances, whereas a rigid mind puts up a fight when external events don't go its way. It is hard enough to control the mind; it is impossible to control the world. A supple mind is inventive and easily adapts. It is a byproduct of the growth of awareness. The mind is good at following, and not leading.
When awareness is in charge, we can get the most out of the mind's abilities.