“For man, the mind is the cause of bondage and the mind is the cause of liberation. Mind absorbed in sense objects is the cause of bondage, and the mind detached from the sense objects is the cause of liberation.” – Amrita-Bindu Upanishad (Mantra 2)
I was now ready for tracking yoga, writing, and hearing Srila Prabhupada lectures. Regarding book writing, I simply wrote one line daily and I linked it to the existing habit of finishing my lunch. He revealed to me that these were two habits – beginning to eat my lunch and ending it. So after I finished my lunch, I chose to write one line for my book. And before lunch, I did yoga.
And regarding hearing Srila Prabhupada lectures, the simplicity principle was to pull out the Srila Prabhupada audio device, hold it in my hand for a couple of seconds and chant the Srila Prabhupada pranama mantra. And I had a habit of checking my e mail at least once daily. I linked hearing Srila Prabhupada class to my e-mail checking. This was an act of connecting to the energy of hearing Srila Prabhupada’s class.
Now I had both simplicity and linking in place. I had already indexed my new habits. And tracking, I had begun daily for over three weeks now and I simply added these three habits.
Now the last challenge was consistency – I had to do these three things daily.
Breaking the inertia
Is it difficult to do the simple act of putting a yoga mat on the floor and sitting on it, daily? Or how long does it take to write one sentence?
One day I was busy the whole day and just about the evening I had half an hour of break. I could have opened my computer and written for a few minutes. But during those days I had a target to write a book every year and I wanted to write a minimum of a thousand words daily. As a result, when I did get time, I was discouraged by the fact that I may not be able to write as much as I desired. And I landed up writing nothing.
Then I came across the ILT method and my target now was just one sentence daily. But this had to be done every single day. A few days ago I was down with body pain and a slight fever. I had no desire or strength to write. However, my target was just a sentence. So I reluctantly rose from the bed, trudged to my table, opened my notebook, and began writing. Once I wrote a sentence, I could easily write the second one. Then, a few ideas gushed out of my head onto the computer. Soon, I was in a flow state. I ended up writing more than a thousand words, and I spent over an hour. And this was when I thought I was sick, while ironically earlier when I had time, I wrote nothing. This simple act of trying to write one sentence had inadvertently broken the inertia. Without intending to outsmart my mind, I had done that very thing.
That’s when I realized that ILT is an amazing trick to outwit the mind.
Mind and Gollum
Two decades ago the Lord of the Rings trilogy captured the imagination of movie goers like nothing else before it in cinematic history – the seventeen Oscars it bagged is a testimony.
Gollum undoubtedly remains one of the most fascinating characters in this series. He serves his master Frodo, yet is wicked and attached to the ring. He is clever and can engage in riddles, but uses them to trap victims. His perverted sense of self-love and self-hatred; his vicious anger and his scary and insatiable greed make him a perfect representative of our Mind.
Gollum is within, wreaking havoc with our fragile lives unless we learn to tame him.
And it all begins with more awareness. As Rumi said, “If your eyes are opened, you’ll see the things worth seeing.”
Now, it remains to be seen if I can use the ILT to keep my mind in check, or will Gollum have the last laugh.
“Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.” — Eleanor Roosevelt