Most of us strive to periodically reset our bodies and their organic functioning to allow for proper rest and renewal. Such transformative resets provides new energy and a new enthusiasm to start new actions and take us beyond the limitations of old patterns.
The same process is necessary for mental health and psychological wellbeing, extending to the development of higher consciousness. We should learn to reset our minds daily to free ourselves from bad habits, negative emotions, and mental inertia that keeps us down or limits our mental acuity and emotional happiness.
We should periodically empty our minds of their residues of conditioned thinking and memory blockages, including any obsessions and compulsions, in order to stimulate new creativity, original thinking, and a deeper Self-awareness.
Challenges To Mental Wellbeing Today
Our minds today are overstimulated, overworked and easily disturbed in our media era of constant digital or electronic engagement, extended to increasing concerns about social and world problems today. Our minds are subject to constant stress throughout the day and even the night. They have little free time to harmonize their functions, so that the mind seldom gets the space or stillness to become calm, composed and renew itself.
Mental clutter and the baggage of memory weighs the mind down, restricting its subtle energies and getting us caught in endless outer concerns, instabilities and insecurities, in which our thoughts get fixed or stuck. Conditioned habitual mental reactions prevent us from seeing things directly, with the mind’s shadows looming over us and clouding what we see. The result is that get easily caught in the same old limiting situations, relationships, emotions, actions or expressions, and don’t know how to free ourselves from these.
Our minds do not stop even for a minute to renew themselves, except in sleep. Yet we often experience a broken disturbed sleep, and do not have enough deep sleep rest to truly renew body or mind. The result is that we wake up in a state of agitation and depletion, not in a restful and relaxed manner.
How to Reset Your Mind
How then do we reset our minds? It is a simple process but requires a great deal of concentration to bring it about. It is similar to resetting our technology by turning it off and then turning it on again and allowing it to reboot, free of the conditioned settings of its past programing.
Yet there is no simple mechanical button that we can push to stop the mind or turn it on again like we can for a computer. However, there is a button we can learn to push in order to stop the mind. That is the power of focused awareness, in which we move from a state of being caught in our thoughts, to observing them and letting them go like clouds in the sky.
The mind requires extended periods of quiet in which we disengage from any outer focus and turn the mind back to the silence, stillness and emptiness within. Space has the power to reset and renew the mind, but it is an inner space gained by turning our awareness within. This inner movement of the mind requires an inner attention and will power, including an ability to let go of the past, erase and negate harmful memories and behavioral patterns through detached focused observation.
Emptying the Mind
The mind, we must note, is a reflective and receptive instrument, which means that to take in something new, the mind needs to be emptied of what is old that is filling it up. The calm and empty mind naturally resets itself and fills itself with new inspiration. But this is not merely a purposeless or lazy mind. It is the emptiness of a higher space of consciousness in which we connect ourselves to the root powers of existence, such as pervade the natural world, dwelling in the cosmic presence and letting go of our limited personal issues at least for a time.
The mind as an organic instrument needs its proper rest just as the body does. Sleep is the main factor, particularly deep sleep, for this organic resetting of body and mind. But to be really effective for the mind, we must develop a conscious state of peace, not just the unconscious state of sleep. Deep meditation is like dwelling in the deep sleep state but in the waking state. This is true Yoga Nidra which is dwelling in one’s true Self beyond the turmoil of the mind.
The mind’s inner rest and peace, requires not just enjoyment or entertainment like watching a movie. It requires removing all thoughts from the mind and simply being present in our inner being witnessing the movement of life within and around us from a place of calm and equanimity. If we let things be what they are that power of being will aid in peace and transformation of our own awareness.
We must learn to take our minds back to their ground zero, back to their point of silence, centering, stillness and emptiness – the mind’s place of origin and ultimate goal, which is the underlying boundless Self-awareness beyond the mind, our inner heart awareness that endures at our core regardless of the outer movements of the mind.
The mind requires space to renew itself, within ourselves and in the world around us, linking both together, experiencing ourselves as a presence or movement in space, not just as a stream of thoughts or as a mere physical form. Learn to see the space between your thoughts and between names and forms if you would really see the reality of consciousness. Everything we see is a formation created from space that must return to space. Yet we need too create a higher space of awareness to allow everything to reflect its original nature.
Dwell in the infinite sky of pure consciousness not in the clouds of the conditioned mind. We forget that the thoughts we experience in space are circumscribed, arise and dissolve into the space that defines them. That space is the presence of Being and Consciousness which is the nature of the cosmic reality.
The mind renews itself not only in space but also with silence. The agitated, chattering or opinionated mind cannot renew itself. It depletes itself and also causes conflicts with others that imbalance it further. The silent mind spontaneously and effortlessly heals itself, while the mind that is full of noise, thoughts and fantasies only breeds more distractions and illusions.
Meditative Inquiry, Mantra and Pranayama
Mantras serve to slow down, deepen and renew the mind, particularly single syllable seed or bija mantras like Om, Aim, Hreem, Shreem, Kleem, as in various Shakti Mantras. These serve to break down the conditioned patterns and noise of our thoughts and blockages in our Prana, and take our awareness into a steady and one-pointed state.
Practice Pranayama letting your inhalation and exhalation gradually gather in and release outwardly all your thoughts and mental patterns. In the space or retention between inhalation and exhalation, thought naturally comes to an end, and an inner Prana can renew the mind.
You can go out into nature, where you can see a vast horizon from a mountain top, or the beach with a vast expanse of the ocean. If you merge your mind into the space of nature, then Nature’s Prana will enter into you. Or simply let your mind flow like a river letting all your thoughts naturally flow away with the current without any reaction.
Learn the proper care of your mind if you would know your true Self and the nature of the cosmic reality, the Supreme Brahman. Meditation is the key but it must be a silent, vast and profound meditation where thought has no place, not just following a technique.
We should align meditation with Self-Inquiry (Atma-vichara) looking for our true Self whose nature is space behind and beyond our thoughts. We can also combine it with inquiry into the cosmic reality (Brahma-vichara), looking to the infinite and eternal Being that pervades all existence.
Reset your mind daily and your mental and emotions disturbances and toxins will naturally be washed away. With the renewed awareness gained you will naturally find new solutions to improve your life, gain greater energy and creativity, and be more kind, compassionate and helpful for everyone. Resetting your mind is the key to resetting your life.
Dr. David Frawley (Vamadeva Shastri)
Note related article by David Frawley and Deepak Chopra