The Role of the Mind, and of Control of the Mind. Purity of the Mind.
The mind is an ocean ... I and so many worlds
are rolling there, mysterious, dimly seen!
And our bodies? Our body is a cup, floating
on the ocean; soon it will fill, and sink ...
Not even one bubble will show where it went down. (...)
Rumi, quoted in: Helminski, Kabir (2000). The Rumi Collection. P.11.
We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world. The Buddha. Jack Maguire. (2001). Essential Buddhism. P.75.
To refrain from evil, to achieve good, to purify one's own mind - this is the teaching of all Awakened Ones. Ascribed to Buddha, quoted after Novak Philip, The World's Wisdom, P.77.
All that we are is a result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him, as the wheel follows the foot of the ox that draws the wagon. (...) If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him. Dhammapada, a collection of sayings attributed to Buddha, quoted after: Novak Philip, The World Wisdom, P.104
The Lord loves purity. Hence if you purify your thoughts, you will be blessed with divine strength. Shanti Vachan Bhandar, 1144.
Pure and crystal clear water becomes dirty easily, but is purified with great difficulty. So one's mind may be defiled easily but it takes time to make it immaculate. Shanti Vachan Bhandar, 2113.
Of greatest importance is that the repetition of God's name increases daily. In this way, your heart and mind will be purified. Only then you will find God in yourself. The mind can only be purified by japa. This is the only medicine for the disease of the mind. While your mind and heart are impure, how can God live in your heart? The water to clean your heart is the Name of God. So teach everyone to repeat the name of God - everywhere. Teachings of Babaji, P.40.
Who, in this world, can be called pure? He whose mind is pure. Shankara, quoted after: Novak Philip, The World's Wisdom, P.40.
A brother came to Abbot Pastor and said: Many distracting thoughts come into
my mind, and I am in danger because of them. Then the elder thrust him
out into the open air and said: Open up the garments about your chest and catch
the wind in them. But he replied: This I cannot do. So the elder
said to him: If you cannot catch the wind, neither can you prevent distracting
thoughts from coming into your head. Your job is to say No to them.
Merton, Thomas. The Wisdom of the Desert. P. 43.
Submitted to L-Center Discussion Group by Gary Horn <email@example.com>
Empty your mind of all thoughts. Let your heart be at peace. Watch the turmoil of beings, but contemplate their return (to the Source). Tao Te Ching 16, quoted after Novak Philip, The World's Wisdom, P.149.
This is the nature of the unenlightened mind: the sense organs, which are limited in scope and ability, randomly gather information. This partial information is arranged into judgments, which are based on previous judgments, which are usually based on someone's else's foolish ideas. These false concepts and ideas are then stored in a highly selective memory system. Distortion upon distortion: the mental energy flows constantly through contorted and inappropriate channels, and the more one uses the mind, the more confused one becomes. (...) Simply avoid becoming attached to what you see and think. Relinquish the notion that you are separated from the knowing-all mind of the universe. Then you can recover your original pure insight and see through all illusions. Knowing nothing, you will be aware of everything. Remember: because clarity and enlightenment are within your own nature, they are regained without moving an inch. Hua Hu Ching 44, quoted after: Novak Philip, The World's Wisdom. P.172.
Look within yourself. Remember, the Infinite is everywhere. Diving deep into superconsciousness, you can speed mind through eternity; by the power of mind you can go farther than the farthest stars. The searchlight of mind is fully equipped to throw its superconscious rays into the innermost heart of Truth. Use it to do so. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.10.
The power of thought, fro good or ill, derives from the thought-essence of the universe. In manifesting creation, God first projects it as thought-patterns, the finest form of creative vibration, which condenses into forms of astral light and then into grosser atomic structures. (...) Man's thoughts are a microcosmic borrowing from God's thought power and so have the ability, even when undeveloped, to affect significantly his own health, happiness, and success, and when strongly reinforced by kindred thoughts of others, the world in which he lives. The thought-patterns implanted in creation by God are thus affected harmoniously or inharmoniously by the thoughts of mankind. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.24, footnote.
(...) in chronic diseases (...). First, the mind receives the suggestion. Then the Divine impregnates the mind with His power. Finally, the brain releases the life energy to heal. You do not realize the power of God that is in your mind. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.41.
When the mind becomes still, you are in the Kingdom of the Infinite. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.50.
The greatest human memory is naught but a borrowing from the unlimited consciousness of God, in which are recorded all the adventures of all human beings and other life-forms. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.62.
It is possible to imagine that under favorable conditions (and if there is no waste of vital essence, and there is proper food and right thinking) the human body could go indefinitely. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.63.
God has given us one tremendous instrument of protection - more powerful than machine guns, electricity, poison gas, or any medicine - the mind. (...) And important part of the adventure of life is to get hold of the mind, and to keep that controlled mind constantly attuned to the Lord. This is the secret of a happy, successful existence. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.69.
True yogis are able to control the mind under all circumstances. When that perfection is reached, you are free. Then you know life is a divine adventure. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.71.
Anything that weakens your mind is your greatest enemy, and whatever strengthens your mind is your haven. Laugh at any trouble that comes. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.72.
Mind is the architect of the microcosm and the macrocosm. (...) Everything in the universe is thought in material form. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.75.
Mind influences body more than vice versa (...). Body and mind are interdependent. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.76.
Mind has much greater power than medicine. (...) Permanent healing comes through the boundless power of the mind and through God's grace. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.84.
Everything in the universe is composed of energy, or vibration. The vibration of words is, by extension, a grosser expression of the vibrations of thoughts. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.91.
Space and time are merely differentiations of thoughts. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.93.
Those who are already sick and infirm need as pleasant an environment as possible, among people who have a strong and positive nature, to encourage them in positive thoughts and feelings. Thought has a great power. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.94.
The use of alcohol and drugs frequently leads to overindulgence in sex, which shuts out the power of spiritual inspiration by tying the mind to intense body-consciousness. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.160.
By meditation you can experience that holy state of mind when you are awake, and be constantly immersed in healing peace. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.161.
(...) no doctor or medicine can help any patient if the patient's mind has become so weakened that the disease has become chronic. Three-fourths of the cure lies in the mind. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.103.
One should learn gradually to make greater use of the mind. By doing so, you will realize that the mind is a superb instrument. Whatever you command, it will do. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.103.
(...) whatever command the mind impinges on the consciousness of the life force, it will manifest accordingly. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.107.
Every force and object in this universe is a product of the Divine Mind; in the same way that all things you perceive in a dream are creations of your mind. (...) Anything can be done by mind power. (...) Most people do not know this because they have never tried it. The mind will not show its miracles unless you make it work. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.107.
Your mind having descended from almighty God, is not satisfied with the offerings of this world (...). Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.125.
Never do anything that taints your mind. Wrong actions cause negative or evil mental vibrations that are reflected in your whole appearance and personality. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.141.
A person of strong mind can be whatever he wants to be. The limited human personality can be greatly expanded by meditation. (...) Whatever you make up your mind to do, you can do. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.152.
From now on you must say: "I am not the slave of the body. I am the dictator of my own kingdom. My thoughts are going to be exactly as I wish them to be." Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.188.
Each type of mood has a specific cause, and it lies within your own mind. To remove a mood you must remove its cause. One should introspect each day in order to understand the nature of his mood, and how to correct it, if it is a harmful one. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.204.
Moods befog the brain, and hence impair judgment, so that your efforts are wasted. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.206.
Do you realize that within you, in your soul, is a superb garden? A wondrous garden of thoughts, fragrant with love, goodness, understanding, and peace, and more beautiful than any earthly flowers that grow. (...) So always think of your mind as a garden, and keep it beautiful and fragrant with divine thoughts; (...). Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.208.
Only those persons who have visualized their thoughts very strongly have been able to manifest them in outward form. Everything on earth had its birth in the factory of the mind - either in God's mind or in man's mind. Actually, man cannot think an "original" thought. He can only borrow God's thoughts and become an instrument to materialize them. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.238-9.
Experiment with your thoughts. Try out your strongest thoughts on your body. See if you cannot overcome undesirable habits and persistent ailments. When you are successful you may apply your thought to make changes in the world around you. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.239.
Your outer experiences should be only fun. You can convert all of them into miserable ones if you allow your mind to do so. (...). Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.242.
In order to be able to say with realization that all things are in the mind, you must first develop an inner consciousness of divine peace that remains unruffled by the experiences of this earth. Accept them as you would dreams, and the time will come when you will find that, just by the power of your strong thought, whatever you think will materialize. This is very difficult to do, but it can be done. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.242.
If you first become one with God, then whatever you think can be materialized. This truth was demonstrated many times by Jesus. He had realized his unity with God. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.242.
Men are taught from childhood that they are weak (...). Teach them that they are all glorious children of immortality (...). Let positive, strong, helpful thoughts enter into their brains from their very childhood. Lay yourself open to these thoughts, and to the weakening and paralyzing ones. Say to your own minds, "I am He, I am He." (...) The infinite strength of the world is yours. Vivekananda, quoted in: Nikhilananda, Vivekananda, A Biography, P.190.
It is only when the mind is very calm and collected that the whole its energy is spent in doing good work. (...) It is the calm, forgiving, equable, well-balanced mind that does the greatest amount of work. Vivekananda, quoted in: Nikhilananda, Vivekananda, A Biography, P.193.
The great quality of bhakti (love for God -P.R.) is that it cleanses the mind; and bhakti for the Supreme Lord, firmly established, is alone sufficient to purify the mind. Vivekananda, quoted in: Nikhilananda, Vivekananda, A Biography, P.193.
There is no limit to the power of the human mind. The more concentrated it is, the more power is brought to bear on one point; that is the secret. Vivekananda, quoted in: Nikhilananda, Vivekananda, A Biography, P.196.
When your mind has become controlled you have control over the whole body; instead of being a slave to this machine, the machine is your slave. Instead of the machine's being able to drag the soul down, it becomes its greatest helpmate. Vivekananda, quoted in: Nikhilananda, Vivekananda, A Biography, P.196.
All the knowledge that the world has ever received comes from the mind; the infinite library of the universe is in your own mind. (...) When you go home, reflect on what you have learnt, and you will find that you yourself have thought out the same thing; I have only given it expression. Vivekananda, quoted in: Nikhilananda, Vivekananda, A Biography, P.200-1.
It is asid that Buddha beneath the Bo Tree "with the sword of his mind he pierced the bubble of the universe."
Mind is only a mechanism - it can talk, it can be silent. The only problem is, it should not be the master, it should be the servant. Osho, Autobiography of a Spiritually Incorrect Mystic, P.183.
Your thinking is like a camel driver,
and you are the camel:
it drives you in every direction under its bitter control.
Rumi, Mathnawi I, 2497, quoted in: Helminski, Kabir (2000). The Rumi Collection. P.19.
Since you can't escape, be His servant,
and go from His prison (of this world - Pritam) into His rose garden.
When you continually keep watch
over your thoughts and actions,
you are always seeking the Justice and the Judge,
though heedlessness may shut your eyes,
still, that doesn't stop the sun from shining.
Rumi, Mathnawi VI, 383-384, quoted in: Helminski, Kabir (2000). The Rumi Collection. P.88.
Every day, and every moment, a thought comes
like an honored guest into your heart.
My soul, regard each thought as a person,
for every person's value is in the thought they hold.
Rumi, Mahnawi V, 3644 ..., quoted in: Helminski, Kabir (2000). The Rumi Collection. P.187.
One of the elders said: It is not because evil thoughts come to us that we are condemned, but only because we make use of evil thoughts. It can happen that from these thoughts we suffer shipwreck, but it can also happen that because of them we may be crowned. Thomas Merton. The Wisdom of the Desert, P.45.
Taisen Deshimaru, a Japanese Zen master (...) once used a particularly apt analogy: "During zazen, brain and consciousness become pure. It's exactly like muddy water left to stand in a glass. Little by little, the sediment sinks to the bottom and the water becomes pure." Jack Maguire. (2001). Essential Buddhism. P.122.
(...) I focus my mind to the point where it is no longer preoccupied with the data produced by the senses. This is not a trance, as my mind remains alert; rather it is an exercise in pure consciousness. Freedom in Exile. The Autobiography of Dalai Lama. P.207.
(...) Stand guard, then, over your heart and keep a watch on your senses; and if the remembrance of God dwells peaceably within you, you will catch the thieves when they try to deprive you of it. When a man has an exact knowledge about the nature of thoughts, he recognizes those which are about to enter and defile him, troubling the intellect with distractions and making it lazy. Those who recognize these evil thoughts for what they are remain undisturbed and continue in prayer to God. St. Isaiah the Solitary (died in Gaza in 491 C.E.), quoted in: The Philokalia, Vol. I., P.24.
If you wish to behold and commune with Him who is beyond sense-perception and beyond concept, you must free yourself from every impassioned thought. St. Evagrios the Solitary (345-399 C.E.), quoted in: The Philokalia, Vol. I., P.58.
The way to keep guard over our heart is immediately to expel from the mind every demon-inspired recollection of women - even of mother or sister or any other devout woman - lest by dwelling on it for too long the mind is thrown headlong by the deceiver into debased and pernicious thoughts. :-) St. John Cassian (360-435), quoted in: The Philokalia, Vol. I., P.76.
'Whoever hates his brother is a murderer' (1 John 3:15), for he kills him with the hatred in his mind. The blood of a man who has been slain by the sword can be seen by men, but blood shed by the hatred in the mind is seen by God, who rewards each man with punishment or crown not only for his acts but for his thoughts and intentions as well. St. John Cassian (360-435), quoted in: The Philokalia, Vol. I., P.86.
Abba Moses replied: (...) 'Just as it is impossible to stop a watermill from turning, although the miller has power to choose between grinding either wheat or tares, so it is impossible to stop our mind, which is ever-moving, from having thoughts, although it is within our power to feed it either with spiritual meditation or with worldly concerns.' St. John Cassian (360-435), quoted in: The Philokalia, Vol. I., P.97-8.
Guard your mind, and you will not be harassed by temptations. But if you fail to guard it, accept patiently whatever trial comes. St. Mark the Ascetic (4th Century C.E.), quoted in: The Philokalia, Vol. I., P.121.
When under the pressure of stupid thoughts, we will find relief and joy by rebuking ourselves truthfully and unemotionally, or by confessing everything to the Lord as to a human being. In both these ways we will always find tranquility, whatever troubles us. St. Hesyhios the Priest (8th or 9th Century), quoted in: The Philokalia, Vol. I., P.186.
When we not only refrain from worldly actions but no longer call them to mind, we have attained true tranquility. This gives the soul the opportunity to look at the impressions previously stamped on the mind, and to struggle against each one and eliminate it. So long as we go on receiving new impressions, our intelligence is occupied with them and so it is not possible to erase the earlier ones. In consequence our struggle to eradicate the passions is inevitably far harder, since these passions have become strong through being allowed to increase gradually; and now, like a river in full flood, they drown the soul's discernment with one fantasy after another. St. Neilos the Ascetic (died around the year 430 CE), quoted in: The Philokalia, Vol. I., P.232.
A good heart produces good thoughts: its thoughts correspond to what it stores up in itself. St. Thalassios the Libyan (VI-VII Century C.E.), quoted in: (1981). The Philokalia. Vol. II., P.312.
And the more intellect is stripped of the passions and purified through stillness, the greater the spiritual knowledge it is found worthy to receive. The intellect is perfect when it transcends knowledge of created things and is united with God: having then attained a royal dignity it no longer allows itself to be pauperized or aroused by lower desires, even if offered all the kingdoms of the world. Abba Philimon (VI-VII Century C.E.), quoted in: (1981). The Philokalia. Vol. II., P.345.
What is called "mind" is a wondrous power residing in the Self. It causes all thought to arise. Apart from thoughts, there is no such thing as mind. (...) Of all the thoughts that arise in the mind, the "I" thought is the first. It is only after the rise of ths that the other thoughts arise. (...) When other thoughts arise, one should not pursue them, but should inquire: "To whom did they arise?" (....) The answer that would emerge would be "To me." Thereupon if one inquires "Who am I?," the mind will go back to its source; and the thought that arose will become quiescent. With repeated practice in this manner, the mind will develop the skill to stay in its source. (...) Not letting the mind go out but retaining it in the heart is what is called "inwardness (antar-mukha)." (...) Thus, when the mind stays in the Heart, the "I" which is the source of all thoughts will go, and the Self which ever exists will shine. (...) Ramana Maharishi, quoted in: Harvey, Andrew (Ed). (2001). Teachings of the Hindu Mystics, P.115-17.
The mind is filled with thoughts that create a gulf between man and God. Empty the mind; in the stillness you will find union with God. Pennington, Basil. (1978). O Holy Mountain! Journal of a Retreat on Mount Athos. P.54.
To stop the continual jostling of your thoughts, you must bind the mind with one thought or the thought of One only. Theophane the Recluse, quoted in: Pennington, Basil. (1978). O Holy Mountain! Journal of a Retreat on Mount Athos. P.65.
The aim of every monk and the perfection of his heart tends to continual and unbroken perseverance in prayer - and immovable tranquility of mind - lasting and continual calmness in prayer: for this are all our exercises of the monastic life undertaken. Saint John Cassian, quoted in: Pennington, Basil. (1978). O Holy Mountain! Journal of a Retreat on Mount Athos. P.93.
Keep your mind free from colors, images, and forms; beware of the imagination in prayer - otherwise you may find that you have become a fantasist instead of a hesychast. Saint Gregory of Sinai, quoted in: Pennington, Basil. (1978). O Holy Mountain! Journal of a Retreat on Mount Athos. P.117.
When we close every outlet to the mind by the recollection of God, it imperiously demands something to satisfy its need of activity. We must then give it the Lord Jesus, as the sole occupation that fully answers its need… Diadochius of Photice, quoted in: Pennington, Basil. (1978). O Holy Mountain! Journal of a Retreat on Mount Athos. P.226.
Desire is the memory of pleasure and fear is the memory of pain. Both make the mind restless. Moments of pleasure are merely gaps in the stream of pain. How can mind be happy? (…) The mind, by its very nature, divides and opposes. Can there be some other mind, which unites and harmonizes, which sees the whole in the part and the part as totally related to the whole? Sri Maharaj Nisargadatta. (2005). I am That. P.8.
When the mind becomes quiet, we come to know ourselves as the pure witness. We withdraw from the experience and its experiencer and stand apart in pure awareness, which is between and beyond the two. The personality, based on self-identification, on imagining oneself to be something: “I am this, I am that,” continues, but only as a part of the objective world. (…) Sri Maharaj Nisargadatta. (2005). I am That. P.14.
Use your mind. Remember. Observe. You are not different from others. Most of their experiences are valid for you too. Think clearly and deeply, go into the entire structure of your desires and their ramifications. They are a most important part of your mental and emotional make-up and powerfully affect your actions. Remember, you cannot abandon what you do not know. To go beyond yourself, you must know yourself. Sri Maharaj Nisargadatta. (2005). I am That. P.26.
(…) You must watch yourself continuously – particularly your mind – moment by moment, missing nothing. This witnessing is essential for the separation of the self from the not-self. Sri Maharaj Nisargadatta. (2005). I am That. P.27.
(…) the idea ‘my body’, as different from other bodies is not there. To me it is ‘a body’, ‘a mind’, not ‘my mind.’ The mind looks after the body all right, I need not interfere. What needs to be done is being done, in the normal and natural way. (…) Sri Maharaj Nisargadatta. (2005). I am That. P.31.
The state of craving for anything blocks all deeper experience. Nothing of value can happen to a mind which knows exactly what it wants. For nothing the mind can visualize and want is of much value. Sri Maharaj Nisargadatta. (2005). I am That. P.29.
Perfection is a state of the mind, when it is pure. I am beyond the mind, whatever its state, pure or impure. Awareness is my nature; ultimately I am beyond being and non-being. Sri Maharaj Nisargadatta. (2005). I am That. P.54.
Last updated: 2013/05/25