We all can know the truth of who we are, use our intellectual capacity to understand, experience joy beyond conditions, and connect to that Divine quality of God within us and around us. But we do not often experience any of these, not because we can’t, but because we create barriers.
When you stand in front a quiet lake, and the water is clear, you can see what is at the bottom of it all. But if the lake’s water is muddy, or there are strong winds that create ripples in the water, we can no longer see the bottom. Our mind is like that. When our mind is quiet, we can see the way to truth, knowledge, bliss, and absolute. When there are disturbances in our mind, we see nothing but those disturbances.
We speak 16,000 words a day on the average. Now, when we think about it, how many of those words ground us in peace, and how many of those words create barriers between ourselves and our freedom? When we use words to lie, judge, gossip, complain, or criticize, what do you think the effect is on the lake that is our mind?
Practice observing the habitual tendencies of your thoughts that lead to your speech— not to beat yourself up, but to understand the connection between the content of the mind and the peace (or the lack thereof) that you experience. It is the nature of the mind to think random thoughts, even negative thoughts. Use this as a tool for understanding. Step back to become a sakshi, the witness consciousness that watches things unfold. Allow the witness to observe the mind thinking thoughts. As the observer, you are able to let the ripples quiet down.
Use silence too as a tool. When your thoughts stay at the level of thought, you can work on the observation at a thought level, minimizing any damage control that might be needed when negative thoughts are expressed in words. You nip it at the bud. Next time you catch yourself about to lie, judge, gossip, complain, or criticize, pause instead. Use silence. Allow the ripples of the mind to quiet down. It does not mean you become passive or apathetic. But it means you are conscious, deliberate, and intentional when you speak. Words are no longer just air-fillers, they are spoken with a clear purpose.
Satyam, Jñanam, Anandam, and Brahma— Truth, Knowledge, Bliss, Absolute— will be made available to us eventually and inevitably, through consistent practice, when we no longer think we are our thoughts, and we begin to understand that we are that witness observing those thoughts