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Yogi Bhajan Lecture: What is Yoga? Part 3

The Mind

Excerpts from “What is Yoga?” The Aquarian Teacher Level 1 Teacher Training Manual

The mind is the second facet in our human life. If the horizon of the mind in thought, understanding, tolerance, and patience is limited, and if the mind is not so beautifully functional that it can see the unseen, and understand the consequences of each action, then it is practically impossible to live a happy life. The mind guides your actions and emotions. If you do not have a good road map, you do not know where you are going. You are just driving without aim, choice, or control. That’s what we do in life. I would like to train you so that you can have a happy life around you.

You must realize that everything depends on your mental outlook. The problem with your mind is that as you think, so you are. How can you develop this potent mental faculty to perceive everything correctly? If somebody is beautiful or ugly to you, it is a result of your mental evaluation. Somebody seems rich to you, even though he doesn’t give you a penny. He is rich to you because of mental appraisal. You may imagine somebody is poor, even though he has a million dollars sitting right under his seat. You call him poor because of your own mind. All of your experience is filtered through the creativity and appraisal of your mind. Happy and unhappy belong to your mind, not to the world.

Everything you receive and have is through the capacity and creativity of your mind. It is the mind, which can give you a perspective on your life. What is the aim of your life? Many of you do not ask this question. You are too busy just surviving. But without this question you will never experience living. The reflex answer to the question is, "Oh, everything is all right." What is all right? Nothing! Ask anybody. Everybody has twenty complaints about himself. Why? Where does the time go? Early in the morning, you go to the office and earn money. Saturday you have to pay your bills and buy groceries. If there’s a long weekend you have to take care of your taxes. Three hundred and sixty-five days go like this. We are so involved in moment-to-moment tasks that we do not know any better about life. When we do not know any better, how’s the better going to come?

You can work on any level, but you have to train yourself to be wise and effective through your own experience. When you give the mind the regular experience of an infinite horizon, you maintain it at the level and caliber of a basic human being.

Through meditation, you can calm the mind and develop your intuition to recognize what is real and important to you. Without knowledge, are you going to close your eyes and just start walking? Where will you go? You have to know your direction and monitor yourself each step of the way. Your inner compass must tell you your location in relation to your goal. Life has its own innate organization, which you can sense with intuition and intelligence.

Kundalini Yoga develops your relationship to your mental potential. You learn to use the clarity of the neutral, intuitive, comprehensive mind. You sharpen the intellect and do not use it to create self-doubt or insecurity. You act with grace and commitment from your heart.

Getting Out of Insecurity

Powerful insecurity can create problems and disrupt happiness. The roots of the insecurity often run deep into the core of the elemental personality of a person’s consciousness. Meditation, Kundalini Yoga, and White Tantric Yoga® all work to disentangle the threads of insecurity from the layers of the subconscious. When these are removed you can deal with things as they actually are rather than as your fears portray them.

In every mental state, the subconscious plays a major role which we are not aware of. We say, “I know my past." Actually, there is no such thing as "my past." That past is only the experience you have in your subconscious mind. You become attached to it, and this prevents you from moving forward in your life. In Kundalini Yoga, we fry this subconscious mind; we make toast out of it and eat it. We have a technical know-how to approach this subconscious mind. If you do not clean it out, it sits behind your conscious mind and does mischief. It sits in the back and can spoil the image of human life by repeating experiences which are already in the past, but which are recorded in that subconscious mind. The subconscious mind must be taken care of and trained with Kundalini Yoga to be an aid in life.

The Game of Self-Belittlement

I want to touch on one more pattern that you must confront. We often hold a feeling that we are very limited and inadequate. This is our self-belittlement. A person thinks, "Oh, I, a poor humble self, can’t do this. I am a very miserable excuse for a human." We play this game very well. There are three primary ways we play it: to get sympathy from people; to get recognized; and sometimes we play it so real that we actually feel it and are fooled by it. We all do it. It’s just a matter of degree. The impact of that play is to limit your activity to realize the full capacity of your mental potential and energy. You must transcend and transform your subconscious habit of self-belittlement if you are to expand and experience that your mind has an infinite horizon. There’s actually no end to it.

©The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan