We can easily create mental clarity and focus when we understand our mind body, Manomaya Kosha. With mental clarity and focus, confidence, curiosity and creativity flow naturally. Our mind when working at its fullest potential, is reflective, clear and deep. And like the mountain lake, when our Mind Body has clarity, we’re calm, collected and centred, even during the full catastrophe life. 

This state of mind is known as Buddhi in Sanskrit. It’s where the word Buddha comes from. Someone who sees clearly, without distortions or waves of confusion.

Do you ever wish your mind was someone/thing you loved to live with? Does it sometimes remind you of a spoilt brat or tyrant?

It’s only since about 4 years I love my mind and see it as a friend rather than foe.

Our reflective and calm mind can be cultivated with the practices of breathing, meditation, mindfulness, detachment, intention, affirmation and visualisation.

From Physical to Subtle, Through the Elements

In the article Yoga Therapy, we looked at our five different bodies; food, energy, thought, intelligence and causal. This month we’ve travelled from the tangible physical body to a subtler experience of living. We dove into our energy body in our last article Pranamaya Kosha. In this article we’ll shine some light on our mental body, Manomaya Kosha.

For philosophy lovers wanting to puzzle the pieces and get a glimpse of the big picture, our five bodies are related to the five elements; earth, water, fire, air and space. 

Our physical body is mainly made up of earth, heavy, inert, solid; ‘soil-idd’. Our energy body when healthy, flows like water, stagnate when we move too little, or dissipates when we spread our energy too thin into too many channels. 

Because mind is connected to the element of fire, our mind is often overheated. Fire gives us heat, light and energy to move. Without the sun or a flame, we’d bump into things and never grasp their full beauty or purpose. Fire allows us to see, discern, differentiate, organise and design.

But we can also take this wonderful tool and channel for granted. Seeing we live in a time where vision is our main way of relating in the world, media, marketing, design, it’s not so strange that our mind is overwhelmed, overstimulated, yet undernourished.

So, what can we do, living in this world of constant visual input? 

Let’s first see the power of our mind, then understand how we can channel this amazing tool.

The Power & Purpose of our Mind

Our mind is what sets us apart from all other creatures. Evolving over millions of years to accommodate creating the most wonderful, wild and wicked creations. It has the power to discern, discriminate, pull apart, put together, reconstruct and fabricate. It has the will to direct, empower and eventually bring into manifestation, anything.

Our mind body is made up of thoughts, imagination, memories, logic and conscious and sub-conscious impressions. The mind is agile, quick, nimble, adaptable. It loves to show off it’s dexterity. It takes the form of whatever is in front of it. Its nature is to mimic, connect and find new ways to bring different concepts, knowledge and impressions together. 

This is the beauty of the mind. 

It’s downfall when we take in too much information, versus education, which is a slower process.

Our mind is like an empty vessel. Because it’s endlessly empty it fills itself with whatever is in front it. In a world full of ideas, fantasies, impressions, opinions, claims. These become memories. And seeing our mind is always trying to and make sense and find purpose of events in relation to our own impressions and cognitive processes, there’s an endless possibility of variables thoughts we can conjure up. 

This busy-body is a master at moving, change and doing. That’s its nature. Since in utero, we’re all ‘trained’, to grasp and hold onto any concept, idea, pattern, impression, logical process, to ensure survival and acceptance into our family/tribe. This prerequisite has made us so busy being busy, we’re often more human doings than human beings. 

Therefore a little less doing and a bit more being is the core path to create mental clarity and focus. To create that calm, confidence and curiosity, and cultivate that reflective mind, simplicity is key. 

Being visually surrounded by scenes, images and impressions of clarity are directly reflected back by Manomaya.

Create Clarity & Focus With Ease

First of all to create mental calm we need ease. So let’s keep it simple. No complicated formulas or projecting we need some external authority to access our inherent intelligence. We’re all able.

The mental field is subtle and therefore seems difficult to understand. But we can re-ignite our mental amazingness if we understand these four things; 

  1. Impressions from the senses strongly affect our mind. Mostly through images and words; media, films, books, songs, magazines. The intensity of affect depends on the level of affection/identification, we have with the source of these impressions. 
  2. When the mind digests all experiences without misunderstandings, it remains clear. That’s why clear communication skills and boundaries is not only valuable, but a necessity, for mental clarity and focus.
  3. The movement of our body’s energy directly affects the movement of our mind. Mental movement is a major influence over our state of mind. That’s why regulating our breathing with specific exercises is vital to mental wellbeing. 
  4. Because the mind often thinks in words, what we think, we will see, believe and create. Words effect us deeper than action. It stays in our memory.

PRACTICES FOR create mental clarity and focus MANOMAYA

These four tools can help us cultivate the mind we love to live with. Rather than dominating all our actions, words and thoughts.

Breathing Same In as Out- Samavritti

Breathing inadvertently affects our mind through our energy body. Physiology affects psychology. So breathing in a pattern of equal, smooth and same ratio of in as out, calms the mind. One by focusing our attention, and two, by steadying the waves of our breath body, we calm the waves of thoughts.

So a ratio of 1:1 breathing is all we need. Meaning we breathe in for 5 seconds and out for 5 seconds. You can increase this up to 10-15 seconds. But remember, as long as your breathing is smooth, calm and feels good to your nervous system, it calms the nerves, the senses and therefore your mind. 

Concentration

Through the practice of concentration the mind is trained to stay still. In the beginning you might have delusions that your mind stays still for minutes at a time, but when you sit day in day out for years, you’ll meet the incredibly cleverness of this mental acrobat.

Slowly it does calm. By not doing, the mind empties once again. As much as you’ve put in,that long it’ll take to empty…! 

Do Nothing

Lie down in the sun, or on your sofa, daydream, absorb the moment, listening to the birds, just like a cat. We love watching the grace, ease and beauty of cats. But if you meditate on their behaviour, their just very graceful at being lazy. They do it with such unapologetic poise, that we think they’re sleek, sublime and superior. 

And they are. 

At the art of Being, rather than doing.

Cardiovascular activity

Get out of your head and into your body.

Being in your body, feeling your legs and heart as your run, or your whole body ability and freedom of expression as you dance, will clear the mind in no time. When you’re here and now, you’re embodied. Embodiment is the best place for a mind to live and thrive. Embodiment is human being rather than human doing.

With these simple steps you can create the mental clarity and focus of a psychological ninja.

Whilst in the midst of the full catastrphe of Life 😉

Be. Not busy, just being.

Be all the things we were never trained for.

Be yourself, unapologetically. Allow yourself to empty. Live fully.

Namaste,

Shira.