Three abodes in our inner world
A friend of mine who owns homes in Zurich, Los Angeles, and Mumbai once told me that his “real” home was in Mumbai, where he felt a sense of shelter and belonging. In the same manner, in our inner world also, we could reside at any one of the below three places at any given time:
- The house of pleasure, where we indulge in fantasies and illusions that gratify our senses.
- The house of problem solving, where we analyze and strategize to overcome challenges and achieve our goals.
- The Home State/Heart Space, the abode of surrender, shelter, and peace experience, where we feel a sense of belongingness and safety.
For instance, during a business meeting at the office, our physical body may be present, but our mind may wander off into a pleasurable fantasy or focus on problem-solving tasks, such as making a grocery list or comparing housing schemes. You may be engrossed in planning the next big project or you could be simmering with anger towards your neighbour for carelessly discarding their garbage on your lawn. When your mind is occupied with battling various challenges, you are residing in the house of struggle.
Alternatively, you could be fully engaged in the present moment, detached from any sense of control or fear. You are free from worry or the need for approval, and you are fully aware of the time and your surroundings. You are at peace with yourself and with what is happening at the moment. This is the place where you reside in the house of peace. You may be spontaneously offering a silent prayer to your loving Lord or simply breathing deeply, surrendering to the universe. This is when you are in your Home State – your Heart Space. At this point, you have tapped into your Anandamaya Kosha – the bliss sheath – which is the closest to your real identity, the soul.
By recognizing these three inner abodes, we can consciously choose to enter the Home State/Heart Space, where we feel truly anchored and sheltered in our inner world.
The ability to take charge of one’s inner world through mindfulness and absorption in social situations separates successful individuals from the mediocre ones. The same holds true for top tennis players; their skills, practice, and match experiences are similar. The key factor that distinguishes champions from the almost-best is their mental toughness, their ability to handle pressure and stay focused during critical moments.
To achieve success, it’s crucial to be aware of where the mind is dwelling – whether it’s absorbed in daydreaming and pleasure-seeking (sense gratification), or planning solutions to problems (struggle), or simply experiencing peace and surrender (shelter). These are the three houses of our inner world where we can dwell at any given moment.
While the struggle to survive and the pursuit of pleasure seem natural, we as humans have the potential to rise beyond these states and spend at least some time daily in a place of surrender. By practising surrender, we can eventually live our whole day in this state, transcending the struggle and pleasure-seeking that so often consume us.
To be continued…