Question: The mind’s function is to think. So, what does it mean to be really free from the mind?
Acharya Prashant: It means that even when you are thinking, thinking has not become too important for you.
It’s like this—In the morning, I get up from my bed and come to this hall where you are working, right? Now, the chair is there for you to sit and work but when I come in, what do you do?
Listener: I stand up from my chair.
AP: You get up from the chair, right? This is how thoughts must be. The chair is there for you to sit, but when something more important comes, then get up! The mind is there to think, but when something more important is there, then pay attention to that
And there is always something more important, which means that even when thought is going on, which is practically going on all the time, it must never be a big priority.
L: It may not lose you the current situation.
AP: Yes. So, now, I go and sit on my chair and you are sitting in your chair; now, you’re sitting, you are not even standing; you are not even trying to show respect. But the moment there is a call, what happens?
You again stand up.
So, that is what ‘being continuously attentive’ means. It means that even when you are on ‘your own’ chair—the chair of the person, the chair that you call as your life, the chair that you call as your personality; even when you are on your chair, yet you are always prepared to get up. It has not become so important to you, you have not become so identified with it that you start ignoring the calls.
So, alright, the chair is there – the body is there, the whole series of experiences since childhood is there, the whole physical conditioning is there, all that is there—that is what I am calling as ‘your own’ personal chair. That is there, but when something important passes by, then you are immediately prepared to leave that chair.
And you are attentive, you are present. You know that when the call comes, then this chair has no value, even it is comfortable.
L: So, that capability to always respond and not being lost in that process.
One must know that It is possible to think without being lost in thoughts. It is possible.
Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity.
Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: It is possible to think without being lost in thought
Advait in Everyday Life
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