Making Your Mind Your Best Friend

Sri Sri Shuddhaanandaa Brahmachari

“Throughout my early life, I asked a particular question: Who could be my best friend in life? Yes, I had good friends, but still my search went deeper.”

“Eventually, I realized there could not be a better friend than my own mind which is positively anchored in the inner spirit of my own being.”

We are always talking to ourselves. Our mind is always with us, our constant companion. If it continuously guides us on the right path, we cannot get lost. Imagine a life in which your mind is always positively oriented, anchored in the goodness, natural creativity, and infinite resources of your own true being. Imagine living with your mind in balance with your physical body and the physical universe. You would naturally always be in a very positive, expansive state.

Wherever you are, whatever situation you might be facing at any point in time, that frame of mind can always be with you. It is only when the mind becomes one’s own enemy that the path of life becomes difficult. The goal then becomes to befriend the mind without controlling it. Whatever you try to control in life will control you at some point. What you resist persists. I have never seen anyone under control of another, who is very happy. Even a small baby does not want to be controlled. You do not want to be controlled. Nothing on earth wants to be controlled.

If you create the vibrations of friendship within your mind, positive ripples automatically start to grow around you. If you befriend one person, that ripples out to others. The more people you befriend, the more your friendships grow. Anyone whose mind is a constant, true friend naturally attracts more friendly people and situations.

Finding Your Natural State of Happiness

In your natural state, you are happy. A dog is happy to be a dog. A cat is happy to be a cat; a flower is happy to be a flower; a tree is happy to be a tree. A star is happy to be a star. Even a stone is happy to be a stone. In the natural world, nothing other than human beings complain about being what they are.

Human beings are never very comfortable with being human. We are continually restless. We want to grow, grow and grow, more and more. We always want to know what is next. Human beings are all seekers. We feel we have lost something.

The problem is that we don’t ask ourselves the most fundamental questions. What are we seeking? What have we lost? Where have we lost it?

And where are we searching for it? We have lost something that has always been with us. In the natural state of being, we are eternally happy, joyful, and blissful. We are in the state of natural spontaneity and creativity. That is our birthright. Humans, however, are not always happy. All too often, we feel a sense of frustration, of disorientation, dissatisfaction. We find ourselves thinking all sorts of negative thoughts, being caught in negative feelings and emotions. We want to get back to happiness. We start searching for our lost happiness. Where do we begin our search?

There is a beautiful story of a wise man who was searching for something on the pavement in front of his home. Everybody passing by saw the wise man searching for hours. A curious passerby stopped and asked, “Hey! You have been searching for a long time. What did you lose?” The wise man answered, “I lost the key to my home.” Then the passerby asked, “Where did you lose it?” The man said, “I lost it inside my bedroom.” The passerby laughed and said, “Why on earth are you seeking it outside, on the pavement?” The wise man laughed and said, “That is what the whole world is doing!”

We have lost the happiness in the core of our being. And we are searching for happiness in the malls and marketplaces of the world, in status and the opinions of others, in everything that is external. Can we find happiness there? Of course not! We can only find what we lost where we lost it, never anywhere else.

We human beings need to understand, meditate, and ponder on this. If we have lost something, what is it that we have lost? If the answer is happiness, peace, joy, harmony, bliss, then we must ask the deeper question.

Where did we lose it? All of us live in two worlds. We have the inner world of our mind, emotions and spirit; we have the outer, external world of manifested names and forms. As long as we are seeking and searching externally, outside our body, outside our mind, outside of our own being, our search inevitably brings us pleasure and pain. Pleasure and pain are two sides of the same coin. At times we find pleasure.

We run around looking for pleasures. When we find them, we never want to lose them. One fine day, however, we are presented with the other side of the coin. Pleasure is not just a one-sided coin. Pleasure and pain are the same energy manifesting at different levels and different times. As long as our search is centered outside, in the manifested world of external objects, we are losing touch with our inner self. We are moving farther away from our “Am-ness”, our existence, our being, our spirit, our soul. Losing touch with our positive mind, our soul starts to starve. We mourn the loss of our best friend: our mind in communion with our own inner spirit, nourished by our deepest being. We start manifesting the symptoms of the disease of unhappiness.

“We have lost something that has always been with us. In the natural state of being, we are eternally happy, joyful, and blissful. We are in the state of natural spontaneity and creativity. That is our birthright. Humans, however, are not always happy. All too often, we feel a sense of frustration, of disorientation, dissatisfaction.”

Unhappiness as a Contract

The more you practice cultivating befriending your mind, you find that no one can make you unhappy unless you resolve to be unhappy. No outside circumstance can make you unhappy unless you agree to become unhappy, unless you sign the contract to be unhappy. There is a contract to be unhappy. There is an offer and there is an acceptance. There is no binding contract without an acceptance. If someone offers you a cup of poison, will you accept it? No! But if someone offers you an insult, most accept it at some level. You instantly start to react.

You begin thinking negatively about the person insulting you. You accept the negativity coming from that person and return it in kind, at least in your own mind. You react. Lord Buddha once gave a beautiful teaching, “If your neighbor brings a present to you and you don’t accept it, where does the present go? The answer is simple; it goes back to the neighbor.” You always have the freedom to say no to poison. Why can’t you say no to a person who is offering you an insult or trying to do you harm? If you don’t accept the insult, if you do not react, the negative energy remains with the person who is insulting you. You are not carrying it forward, intensifying and sustaining its life and movement in the world.

Every human being has the freedom to say no to anything we consider poisonous to our body and mind. There is no need to condemn anybody who is insulting you. Just understand that it is your mistake to sign the contract of happiness by accepting it. You are always free to say, “This does not belong to me. I do not accept it.” If a cloud passes over the sun, does it affect the sky? No. The sky can never be scathed or touched. You, too, can remain untouched, unscathed like the sky. Remember that your mind is your best friend. Make your contract with yourself, to accept only positive from others.

Your Positive Mind is the Aura of Your Spirit

Basically, you are nothing but a bundle of vibrations. You are vibrating at different frequencies, at different times, at different levels. When you are spiritually connected, you cannot help but be positive. Positive energy is the aura of your spirit, which is one with all that is. Negativity is the aura of your ego – the self that is small and limited; the self that feels separate from the rest of the creation; the pseudo-self which is non-existent, which is grounded in appearance and illusion. Your whole human existence is only to seek and search “Who am I?” Am “I” the body, the mind, the emotions, intelligence, the intuition? What is the “I?” Your whole human journey is to find out who this “I” is beyond the illusive “I” that people think you are.

Invoking the Positive Mind Within

All over the world, researchers are finding that most diseases start with our mind in a stressful state. With so much technological advancement, with so many things abundantly available to us, why is there still such a high level of stress that is claiming millions of lives through cancer and other life threatening diseases?

Anything that brings you closer to your real self is nectar. And any apparent harm directed toward you can become the occasion to draw deeper into the self and what is ultimately real. Anything that moves you away from your soul connection and into the sensual world of mirages, will ultimately fill you with worries, unhappiness, tensions, stress. In our collective life, we tend to lose touch with our spirit. We become more oriented to externalities. We forget that happiness requires a balance of inner and outer. We forget that life balances itself, that the inner balances the outer. We need to lead a positive life. We need a friendly mind. The positive is the light of the spirit within us. The more we invoke the light of the positive, inspiring truths of our existence, the more our emotions follow suit.

Darkness is dispelled. We find ourselves thinking and feeling more kindly about others. We pray for those who are in pain. We try to do more good to others. The more we live in the light of our spirit, the more we expand and live in joy. Expansion is a natural aspect of positive thought. Negative thoughts contract, they pull you towards death. Positive thoughts expand you towards higher and higher light, to greater participation in life.

Practice Developing a Positive & Befriending Mind

A great sage of India once said: “There is nothing faster than thought. And there is nothing more potent than thought.”Thoughts may come and go without our inviting them. So what does one do with the negative thoughts that come unbidden from within or without? To practice developing a positive, befriending mind, sit in meditation at least once a day, even if it is only for a few moments. Open yourself to the divine presence. See yourself encircled by the light of the divine. Know that light is always protecting you, always guiding you, always informing you, always uplifting you. See that light forming a protective shield around you, a shield that allows no negativity to penetrate.

See yourself moving through the coming day within this circle of light. Surrender any negative thoughts that come to you, any negative that arises within you, into that light. Feel all negative thoughts being burned away. Feel joy in that. Feel yourself returning to an ever deepening awareness of this ultimate reality: you belong to the Universe. You are held in an eternal circle of divine light. You walk in a universe that unfolds in love and harmonious energy. Affirm your willingness to learn from every life experience and to gain the full measure of its contribution to your soul’s consciousness.

Practice this meditation whenever you find yourself bombarded with negative, inner or outer. Simply step back into your heart in your mind’s eye, into that circle of light. Let it lead you, always.

“All over the world, researchers are finding that most diseases start with our mind in a stressful state. With so much technological advancement, with so many things abundantly available to us, why is there still such a high level of stress that is claiming millions of lives through cancer and other life threatening diseases?”

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