The Mind: Like and Overflowing Trash Can

The past month or so I have been working really long hours trying to get the new SikhNet website ready. With this comes physical and mental exhaustion and other side effects. I would get home late feeling totally tired. All I wanted to do was eat and then watch some TV to disconnect from the day and then go to sleep, wake up, get the kids ready for the day and start over again. Somehow in this busy schedule there never seemed to be time to do a proper sadhana. I was going to sleep later and was so tired that it was hard to wake up early (which is the only way to have time to do banis/meditate/yoga/etc).

It is during times like these that I start to remember what life is like without meditation and a spiritual practice. There is this emptiness and feeling of being overwhelmed by life and everyday affairs. It feels like your mind is full and spilling over like a trash can. When I don’t meditate it’s like the thoughts and input from every day life just piles up in my sub-conscious and leaks out in my every day affairs which effects how I act and react to people and situations. I also notice that my dreams at night become much more intense and draining. There is so much pressure in living life today that without this cleaning and clearing of one’s mind it can be hard function and be happy.

 I was watching TV the other night watching and old episode of "The Pretender" and they go into this sequence laying out this drama of a women loosing her husband (as a result of foulplay) and being left on her own with her son and no money. Then it switches from the "drama" mode…back to the main part of the show. It was such a contrast. All it takes is a little drama…and your emotions are tweaked and played with. It’s as if the TV producers are playing with your mind through your emotions.

So many of the Television shows seem to be there to give people some excitement and drama where it might be missing in their life. These days the shows are so much more extreme in manufacturing this extreme drama. It’s as if people’s lives are getting more and more empty that people look to this entertainment to feel something and escape their life. If any of you watch TV on a regular basis you’ll know what I mean. I do like to "escape" from time to time watching TV, but I don’t like the hyper-drama which just adds more junk to my mind. I try to stay clear of the shows that play mind-games and fill your head with all kinds of junk that you then have to process.

One show I can recommend which I find to be light, fun and not a brain-drain is Psych (USA Network). If you are not in the USA you can watch it online, or if you are more techy you can download it using a bittorrent program. There are not many TV shows (or even movies) these days that are really worth watching. If any of you have any good suggestions I alway like to know of other good shows for those times that I sit down and watch.

Anyways, I don’t want to detract into TV show reviews, but was just thinking about this recently. It’s times like these when one feels this junk and emptiness, and for me there is the strong urge to make sure you get back on track. It felt really good to get up early this morning with my wife and do banis and meditate. We used to do our sadhana by ourselves, but now are doing it together which is really nice. It just changes the whole day, and has a way of clearing the cob-webs from my mind.

If any of what I have described sounds familiar then hopefully you know what to do. The hardest part is when you are in this cycle and feel this way, that you get yourself to make a change. It’s like you need a bump to push you off this track and onto a different one to make a change. Sometimes this "bump" is getting so low in your life that you finally motivate yourself to make a change.

 Well, thankfully for me I generally don’t get caught in this low for very long and always pull myself back up when it does happen. The feeling I get from a regular spiritual practice is like one of those fresh mornings after it rained in the night and the sun is coming up and the air is fresh. Aaaaaa… You just feel good. Once you have this experience you don’t want to go back :)  (It does take work though!) 

4 Responses to “The Mind: Like and Overflowing Trash Can”

  1. Satwant says:

    Gurumustak Veerji,
    Just wanted to tell you that I think you and the entire SikhNet team are doing a great job with this site – it’s a huge sewa to our community.  Also, fantastic job with SikhNet’s new layout…it’s very user friendly and aesthetically pleasing.
    I did have one concern with the new layout that I wanted to address though.  On the background image of the website’s logo, I see (second from the right) among other Keshadhari Sikhs, a smiling clean-shaven ‘mona’ Sikh is pictured.  As cutting/trimming of hair is against Sikhism, I’m wondering why this image is a part of the logo for a website (SikhNet) which is centered around Sikhism.  What kind of message is this image giving to our community? Please educate me and others out there who are unable to understand the reason for this.

  2. Sat Want Singh, thank you for the encouragement.

    Regarding the new sikhnet header image. This was meant to be inclusive and show different types of people. It is not for me or anyone else to judge who is a Sikh and not. Cutting your hair is not the Khalsa way, but just because someone cuts their hair doesn’t necessarily mean they are not a Sikh. I know many so called Sikhs who look outwards like a Sikh…but don’t really practice. And vice versa…I know many people who don’t wear turbans and are very spiritual and devoted people.

    This image is not meant to encourage or confirm that it IS the Sikh way and ok. It is a way to be inviting and inclusive to those people who might not yet live in this full form and maybe get inspired to one day take up the form. Most people I have spoken to who cut their hair and are Punjab background feel shunned and outcast because of this. This is wrong. We should keep our arms and hearts open and accept all.

  3. Kiran says:

    Thank you so much for working so hard on this website. i am  a canadian born sikh, and at times there was no one to talk to, or anyone to answer questions on sikhism and daily practices, i feel so encouraged when i come to this website (which i do daily), and thank you so much for your comments on welcoming all sikhs with open arms, i cut my hair, but do paath each morning and know that I have a tight relation w/ Waheguru, and also thanks to Sikhnet, i have let go of guilt or any bad thoughts htat hold me from reaching my goals, i have made a little corner in my room for prayer each morning as suggested in on eof the sikh youth q&a’s, thank you sooo much, May Waheguru continue to give kirpa and blessings to wonderful people like you and your entire team,

  4. Amarjot Singh says:

    Sat Nam Ji,

    We put/take in more in our mind and spirit, visually than any other senses gifted to us. The process starts from early childhood where we associate everything with images/pictures. Recognizing people, family, friends, toys, you name it and everything is recorded in our memory as a picture/image. If we look a little deeper we find that it’s the sixth chakra and no wonder it affects our thoughts more than anything else since it sits right next to the crown chakra. And of-course once it get into our thoughts, it makes it way to our sub-conscious and then to the un-conscious level, then whole “acting” part starts coz it directly affects our personality. 

    Maybe because of this or that I don’t really have time, I do not have a TV. Though don’t be surprised if I tell you that I used to be a TV addict and was glued to it all the time. A couple of time it so happened that it was almost the Amritvela  and I was just turning off the TV, the question what should I do? Should I go to bed or do my Sadhana? Sometime the spirit won and I would do my Sadhana and at other times my mind would drag me to bed. The questions; what am I doing? What did I get from watching all that?  You are right it does takes you away for a while but then you come back with even more. So the first thing I did was get rid of the TV and it has never been better. I have a son so sometimes when/if it is appropriate I will put in a cartoon movie “Scooby Doo” or “Duck tales” for him to watch on my laptop. As for me, I watch and would suggest that you try “Till Death” (do us apart), “Back to you” on fox and “Scrubs” on NBC.  They do help bring a smile on your face and I have laughed really hard at times. That’s what we need right?

    Alright Ji, many blessings and light.
    Amarjot Singh