• A Disciplined Mind

    By Bhashkar Perinchery

    The word discipline is very much misinterpreted in the common usage and for many it has become associated with control and power, and so it has lost the significance and value of its original meaning. Discipline and the word disciple come from the same root. Discipline is necessary in order to learn, in order to understand. It is not imposing something out of a power approach and going in a fighting way with it; rather it is learning to use the mind, learning to go with the body in a healthy and creative way. Discipline—when rightly understood—is learning a different approach, and unlearning those things which prevent us from really being sensitive and available to see and experience life in a deep way.

    One of the things connected with discipline is learning to be totally in each situation. When we are not operating from a place of full consciousness, the general tendency of the mind is to wander in all kind of directions and follow all kind of pulls and impulses, moods and fancies; as if one is scattered in all directions. For example, think about situations involving food and drink. Ordinarily, these situations are often combined with a lot of socialization. Not only in the obvious way such as in dinner parties or happy hour gatherings, but people scatter themselves in so many other activities, such as eating dinner in front of the television, or drinking your morning coffee while on the telephone discussing the politics of  this and that. So many things are happening parallel that there is no presence in a deep sense into anything that one is really doing. The result is you don’t feel so well; you’ve dissipated your energy and are being pulled and pushed by the mind and its past as if you are just driftwood. Not very fulfilling.

    If you want to attain a state of intensity, clarity, and be able to use the mind and not be a slave to it you have to orient to discipline. You have to look, without making it a fight, without making it a struggle. Go about this orientation in a sensible and creative way. You can start this very simply: for example when you are doing a certain activity, it doesn't matter what it is, be fully with it. When you are taking a shower don't start thinking what you will be doing after the shower and this and that, just be with the shower. It is a playful way of bringing a quality of discipline in life. Without this playful way of bringing discipline—if you just let your mind and your past continue to overtake your energy—you will not be able to understand anything in a deeper way. You will not have the right sensibility to allow what life is showing to become transparent to you. All this is a preparation to allow a greater sensibility. So that you can be so silent and receptive, that you can feel, experience, and understand the slightest and subtlest indications of life. So in a way, to allow the depth of silence one has to prepare oneself by learning to go with the mind and learning to use it in a very careful sensible way. This is also the sense behind silent sitting as well.

    What are we doing with silent sitting? We are not doing anything as an activity in the usual sense but we are orienting to using the mind in a very conscious way. In this sense during this period we are remembering that we don't follow the mind blindly, we don't fight against the mind, and we don't feed any energy to this mind mechanism during this period. We just let this mechanism be; we simply observe it. So it is a way to allow a deeper quality of being. By neither indulging nor struggling against thoughts or feelings, and not identifying with anything in particular, a pure energetic state is available. This purity of energy and learning to contain it is what silent sitting is.

    And that is where discipline of a certain kind, which is of a non-struggling playful quality, is very important. Discipline will help you towards understanding developing an ability to put the mechanism of the mind aside and just be restful. You have to bring the silence, bring the sensibility, bring the state of relaxation through bringing simple discipline in your life. And learning to be totally present in each situation is one of the simple steps to help achieve that.


    Bhashkar Perinchery returns to the U.S. November 11-16 to lead a special meditation retreat in the pastoral Wisconsin countryside. With 3 or 5 days options, the retreat includes includes periods of stillness while listening to Bhashkar’s insights and guidance,silent sitting sessions, guided active meditation and breath awareness exercises, meditative nature walks, and individual question-and-answer sessions with Bhashkar. Sign up today and deepen your practice under the direct guidance of a spiritual master!


    Consciousness, Compassion, Creativity—For a Life of Fulfillment (the three C’s)

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