3 Secrets to mental clarity

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In very short the three secrets are

  • Mindfulness of our breath
  • Mindfulness of body
  • Patience

If you are interested in finding out the story behind it feel free to go on and read for 4 minutes more.

Today during my lunch time I was working in the kitchen. As a preparation for the dish I was making I had to mix some turmeric powder in water. I poured water then kept some turmeric powder in the glass. I used a spoon to stir the mixture. I was busy in something else and later I came back and saw that the mixture was clear.  All the turmeric settled down and the water above was clear. At the very moment I noticed some similarity between the way our mind works and the process of mixing of turmeric in water that I was doing. The process right there reveled me a secret to mental clarity.

If I either shake the glass or stir the mixture then it would be less clear but instead if I let the content settle down the water itself became clear. I did not have to do anything to make the mixture clear. I just had to stop my stirring and shaking of the glass. Even if I wanted the mixture to be clear it somehow remain turbid while I was doing the shaking or stirring of it.

Looking closely at the turbid mixture I could see my mind in it. Continuous coming and going of thoughts and emotions was making it turbid. The shallow, rapid and unaware breaths that I do were acting like a stirrer to make it more turbid. Certain muscles and body parts were contracted which resembled shaking of the glass. In the middle of this state I was hoping mental peace. It was exactly like trying to find clear solution while doing the shaking and stirring.

Just like I could not do anything to make the solution clear except waiting patiently similar was the nature of my mind. I could not achieve mental peace voluntarily. No amount of desire gave me peace but it was patience which made me peaceful. It was deep, long and mindful breath that gave me peace. It was nonjudgmental body awareness that gave me calmness and serenity. It was trust in this process that gave me the peace of mind.

The three things that we can do to increase our mental peace are:

  • Mindfulness of our breath: It is just like stopping the stirring of the mixture which made it clear. The more mindful our breath becomes the deeper and slower it becomes which increases our mental peace.
  • Mindfulness of our body: It is just like stopping the shaking of our glass mixture. Cultivating nonjudgmental body awareness helps us to achieve mental clarity faster. Just like a shaking glass never becomes clear if we are not aware of our body then it is difficult for clarity to settle down in our mind.
  • Patience: Even we stopped the stirring and shaking it takes some amount of time for the solution to become clear. Exactly in the same way even if we are mindful of our breath and of our body, it takes time for clarity to settle down in our mind. It can be few seconds to minutes to hours. We cannot bring our mind to clarity we can only build conditions for it to become clear.

So next time you become emotionally charged May you remember the glass of turbid water and stop stirring and shaking yourself but be aware of your breath and body.

May peace be with you!

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