What We Rehearse – Br. Shankara

Sunday, June 26, 2016

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What We RehearseAs you learn to watch your thoughts, you realize that, subconsciously, you affirm again and again a particular version of reality. These affirmations are rehearsals of a “play” you believe in, and the roles you have learned to enact.

Yet, great spiritual teachers tell us that the play itself, and the characters we seem to be, are nothing more than fabrications of the mind. For example, Sage Vasistha told Lord Rama: “The mind-stuff (citta) is the cause of the existence of all material objects. As long as there is citta, the three worlds (waking, dreaming, and dreamless sleep) also appear in one’s perception as real.” (Nectar of Supreme Knowledge, 4.9)

But, as Swami Vivekananda insisted, that which has been caused by our past and present thoughts and actions can be changed by new actions and thoughts. We can, quite deliberately, rewrite our play!

A neuroscientist, Jill Bolte Taylor, had a massive stroke that took her left mind completely “off-line.” As she worked for years to regain her left-brain functions, she learned: “Nothing external to me (has) the power to take away my peace of heart and mind. That (is) completely up to me. I may not be in total control of what happens to my life, but I certainly am in charge of how I choose to perceive my experience.” — from her book “My Stroke of Insight”