As I ready myself to travel to India this Friday, I am spending some time thinking about my thinking. I have just had the privilege of typing Maa’s writings from a seva book Maa wrote in during Maa’s last visit to India, several of which have to do with the mind. Perfect timing of course for my upcoming trip.

I haven’t been in India for over two years, a long period of time for me, and I am blessed to have the opportunity to spend three weeks there completely devoted to my sadhana (spiritual practice). I first travel to Varanasi to be with others from our community to celebrate Maha Shivaratri (up all night chanting in the streets!), to visit our ashram and sites of our humanitarian work, and then to travel to the Himalayas for a week of meditation and reflection in Uttarkashi by Mother Ganga, before traveling south to Puttaparthi to spend another week at Baba’s ashram.

I know from recent conversations and group gatherings how much inner work and profound change is going on during this 7-year cycle of transfiguration, resurrection and ascension. Now is the time of transfiguration, as we transition from our old form to a completely new form, down to the cellular and subatomic levels. My cells are buzzing, and I am noticing how empty I am of thought until I create and put new thoughts into my head, my mind, my brain.

I am even more aware of this after having transcribed Maa’s words. I share below some short phrases to stimulate my own and your reflection and inner work:

“The role of the mind is to think. You are to decide what you wish the mind to think of, which is what I call thinking intelligently.”

“Find out what happens to thoughts after you become aware of them.”

“Imagine that all the thoughts stop. What is there, how will you be?”

“… the mindlessness state in which only God is …”

I love Maa’s words! I love the depth of the wisdom, how the choice of each word is impeccable and elegant, how all the words come together into a meaning that rings so true, activating this inner “Wow, yes that’s it!” and the joy associated with that revelation.

Maa speaks often to us about training our mind, that we can do anything with our mind, how we give power to whatever we put in the mind, so we are not to judge or blame our mind that is like an empty box. In other words, let’s play, use our free will, enjoy de-creating and creating, emptying space in our mind/head/brain and filling it up with new information/possibilities/pathways.

During a break from writing this, I was just walking outside to get a package at the rental office. I passed the fountain outside my window, noticing my mindless state, as I put thoughts into my head of appreciation for the water, nature, the singing birds, the steps I was taking, the opportunity I have to be thinking about my thinking. My head wasn’t filled with thoughts; they simply came to me and reminded me that this can be how every moment is inside my head and in my experience of life.

Then some other thoughts came to me about Maa’s writing that “consciousness” is behind the thoughts, what we might call “witness” or “indweller” or Presence, and that all of us are this behind our thoughts. Our pure unadulterated mind is the Universal Mind, the mind of God, always available when we clear away the clutter of our normal daily thoughts coming from patterns and habits. It became more evident to me in that moment, as it does now, that the “what is there?” or the “mindlessness state in which God is” is exactly the same for everyone, and that this truth is the most important to keep in mind (so to speak) in creating our relationships and daily life experience.

We are able to access, activate, rest in, create from this mindless state of Presence more and more as we do our practice, as we devote ourselves to our Self and fill our heads with pure thoughts that naturally arise as our sadhana purifies us. Maa reminds us that we have free will and can choose what we look at, and which practices we use to strengthen our mind and benefit from the power of our focus to transform our inner world.

I smile as I imagine the next few weeks, chanting Shiva chants with everyone all night long during Maha Shivaratri, sitting in the meditation cave in the Kashi ashram, walking along the Ganges, chanting the Hanuman Chalisa in the Himalayas, reading the Guru Gita and listening to a recording of Baba Muktananda chanting it, reading the Bhagavad Gita, reading Maa’s words, contemplating and journaling, and spending time simply resting in stillness and seeing what rises within me, as the knowing takes precedence over the thinking.

Thank you Maa. Thank you for all that I am and all that we are. I am so blessed, as we are blessed, with endless opportunities to focus, be aware, witness, practice, play, create, transform, transfigure, evolve … and on and on and on …