Your mind is just like a crystal. Suppose you put a red flower before a crystal, what happens? The crystal looks red. Remove it, put a blue flower, it looks blue. Does the red or blue color stick to the crystal? Never. So also your mind is like a crystal, pure. The mind has never become impure. That is the truth. No soul has been made impure, that is a fact. No one is a sinner; no one is to be condemned.
Swami Sarvagatananda, Meditation as Spiritual Culmination
As we meditate day by day, we progressively let go of the stresses we’ve accumulated over the course of life; and we let go of the false ideas about ourselves and the world we’ve gathered along with the stresses – all the opinions and judgments of myself and others. Gradually, we begin to be able to experience the true mind, the mind that is untouched by any relative world experiences. But up until this point of being able to see the truth of the mind, the mind will appear to us to be whatever is reflected in it.
What is reflected in the mind? Whatever we are putting our attention on.
If I am seeking happiness outside the Self, if I am defining myself by any outer yardstick, it is a given that I am going to come up short more often than not. I will make less money than I think I’m supposed to make. I will have less approval from my friends and loved ones than I think I’m supposed to have. I will weigh more than I should, get fewer emails than I should, be hired for fewer jobs than I should, be noticed by the opposite sex less often than I should.
This experience of coming up short will color the crystal of my mind and cause me to feel badly about myself. It will cause me to have a less than ideal vision of myself. And depending on what family, culture, religion I have grown up in, my mind will make sense in its own way of why I am not more perfect. Of what is wrong with me:
I am a sinner.
I am broken.
God hates me.
I am a loser.
I had a chance but I blew it.
I’m too old.
I’m a monster.
My father was right about me.
We each have our own unique recipe of guilt.
This guilt that we feel for coming up short will in turn make us feel worse about ourselves, which will cause us to think even worse thoughts about ourselves, which will make us feel even worse about ourselves, etc. A feedback loop of pure garbage.
However, as the metaphor of the crystal shows:
I am not my thoughts.
I am not my feelings.
What I am is holy, pure, clean, perfect and at one with the Divine.
What I am, in truth, has never been touched by anything I have ever done or said or been. No matter how heinous or evil or awful I may think myself to be.
It’s time for all of us to let go of the absurd notion that anything is served by our suffering, time to pay attention to what is good and right and true in ourselves and in the world, so that we may begin to see ourselves more as God sees us. Pure crystalline Self. Untouched, unsullied, ready and waiting to shine forth the light of love and acceptance that is our very nature.
As we pay attention to what is good, seeing the world and ourselves through these eyes of the Divine, we will begin to treat ourselves in a way that calls forth what is best in us. And this–being the best that we can be–is what the world needs from us.
Not our limitations, but rather our brilliance. Not our negative self-judgment, but rather our pure un-shadowed light.
This is what the Divine needs from us: the willingness to be used, and used well. And finally, this is what we need from ourselves: permission to shine.
Today I will put my attention on God, on good, on Spirit, that my mind may reflect these truths and move me in the direction of my truest Self.