Sunday, October 20, 2019

When Thoughts Become Things

Why are we sometimes forced to behave in a manner which is contrary to our nature? It may seem that external circumstances propel us. The truth is we imagine our life a certain way and when things don’t pan out how we envisaged, we feel sad, frustrated or depressed. Our restless mind then prods us to act so we may get what we want. Note two important words here, ‘imagine’ and ‘want’. Imagination is nothing but pursuit of a train of thoughts. When we contemplate on a thought, we are basically imagining. And when the same thought stays, it becomes a desire or an emotion. For, a want is a desire which again is a lingering thought.

Patanjali gives the most beautiful definition of tendency in his Yoga Sutra. 
Psychic imprints, resulting from karma, accumulated
over many lives condition the mind and cause one grief.

Every action leaves behind a residual trail. Whatever we do with speech, actions or words, leave an imprint on our mind and in our lives.

Action, further is of three types and each one leaves behind an imprint based on its type. Physical actions may produce tangible residue whereas verbal and mental karma create psychic imprints. The residue of karma may fade over a period of time (sometimes lifetimes) but it doesn’t completely get destroyed unless you consciously work on erasing the imprint. Our actions don’t condition us, their residue does.

Physical Karma — Tangible Residue

All physical actions requiring touch are physical karma. Physical karma leaves behind physical residue.

Verbal Karma — Psychic Imprint 

An instruction, statement, question, or anything else you utter is verbal karma. All verbal karma leave behind psychic residue.

Mental Karma — Emotional Imprint

The subtlest and most powerful of the three karma is a mental karma. It leaves behind a longer trail, a form of psychic residue that I call an emotional imprint. It’s the hardest to erase. The origin of all karma of any type is a thought. Pursuit of a thought is mental karma. It has an immediate impact on your mental state, a lasting impact on your consciousness and an everlasting effect, however subtle, on your mind.


Memory plays a pivotal role in correct meditation. When you are able to retain only a part of your memory – that is, the object of meditation – you move towards achieving the tranquil state. However, memory is also your greatest hurdle in meditating correctly. Primarily because your memory is an accumulation, a storage tank, of your psychic imprints.

It is not possible to empty your memory store. However, it is possible to drop the thought as soon as it starts to emerge. That leads to a state of non-recollection. When you hold your mind in the tranquil absorptive state, afflictions from psychic imprints start to fade.

Watch what you do, say, and think, transformation will begin automatically. 

A mind that has gone empty fills with love naturally. An empty mind is not a devil’s workshop. A restless mind is. An empty mind is infact a meditator’s nirvana. A mind that holds no grudges against anyone, no desires, no expectations is a hotbed of noble intentions. Good meditation naturally leads to that exalted state.

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