What’s On Your Mind? Part 1:
The Mind & The Senses
Human Beings are primed to make sense of the world. We learn through our 11 instruments — 5 sense organs, 5 organs of action and the mind. These instruments are supported by essential breath that in turn provides our body, mind and spirit with energy (prana).
The mind has four main functions: the sensory mind that takes in information, the place where memories and impressions are stored, the higher mind that supports discernment and awareness and the part of the mind that supports our self identity and ego for our life purpose.
The mind is different from the brain. The mind is a reflection of the whole body/vehicle. The brain is the dashboard telling the information where to go in the body, and the body how to act in the world supported by the state of mind.
The mind can have three primary states. The first one is calm, focused or clear. The second is active, transformative or overactive. The third is dull, heavy, and lethargic. There can also be a combination of any of these three states. An example of such combination would be during meditation where the activity brings calm, but the mind is active — a combination of the first two states. Another example, again using meditation, is where the act of meditating brings sleep, showing a calm and a heavy lethargic mind — a combination of the first and third states.
The mind is informed by the sense organs. How clear, calm and focused they are and where they direct their attention determines the state of the mind. The mind takes in information with these sensory input organs — primarily the five senses and the breath, and puts skillful action back out into the world through the output organs of action and the breath. We can practice daily routines that support the senses being calm, focused, and clear, which in turn supports the mind being so.
Over the eight blogs in this series, I encourage you to keep a notepad on your phone or in a journal to jot down your observations. You will be given questions to direct your awareness and observe how your system—body, mind and breath — continue to seek harmony with one another through your own direct experience.
Invitation for Self-Study: Today notice the state of your mind with compassionate awareness — witness what state you are finding yourself in now, in this moment. What state of mind are you in? How does it inform your senses? How does it affect your breath? How does your state of mind inform what you pay attention to? Journal, take notes or voice memos throughout your day as you pay attention to your state of mind and how it influences you to direct your senses and what you pay attention to in the world.
With deep Love, Remember you are light,
Elizabeth Sullivan is an expert instructor, certified yoga therapist, and practitioner in Yoga, Energy Work and Ayurveda. She supports the body to optimally function using neuromuscular reeducation and working with energy patterns. By integrating and aligning body, mind and spirit energy, she creates relaxation, increased energy flow, optimized sleep and a clear mind for her clients. Her work helps people hold higher consciousness to live their optimal lives. Elizabeth offers private lessons, group classes and workshops, and online programs for health practitioners, and also writes for health publications. She holds advanced degrees in Dev. Psychology, Education and Writing, along with certifications in each instructional area. To learn more, visit elizabetheilerssullivan.com.
Elizabeth Sullivan, MFA, MA, BA, Certified Yoga Therapy, Energy Medicine