Interview – How to train the mind through Meditation to use it in our own benefit

By Patwant Kaur

Photo: Camila Muradas

1 – “There is no human being who wants to feel pain. And there is no human being who wants to get out of pain.”This statement is a paradox. Can one train the mind to escape this identification with the existential drama of the ego and pursue their own strength?

The human being has its own characteristics regarding the stranger’s face. The fear of that over which we have no control, which can, in theory, subjugate and defeat us is so strongly ingrained in our brains, we prefer to avoid the unknown. The brain has an archaic mechanism of recording previous experiences of pain and trauma. These memories are recorded in the brain, in structures located in each of the cerebral hemispheres. They associate with other structures, such as the limbic system, orchestrating an immediate defense reaction when an event we experience threatens us.

Pain is uncomfortable, making our entire system sick and depressed. I refer not only to physical pain. The existential pain resulting from difficult experiences and persistent frustration are also a cause of great anguish and suffering for humans. The background to this kind of suffering relates to our immature way of processing emotions, which produces supposedly rational mental reactions, but which at their core are nothing more than excuses and self-justifications which keep us where we are. We are sensitive to pain.

We are often aware of the cause, but we have in us an automatic neurological mechanism that helps us to overcome the pain, without immediate assurance that we will be better and more comfortable. It seems that taking this step into unknown territory is more painful than the pain itself that engulfs us here and now. Living so we become victims and perpetrators of ourselves. On the one hand we suffer a lot in certain circumstances and our understanding is limited to judging the condition for our pain. On the other hand, we insist on staying where we are because of security and the doubt that could reside in an unknown situation.

This dynamic is present in intimate relationships, work relationships and even friendships. We prefer to stay in the pain of a situation that we know than walking through paths where we have no control. There is an Indian proverb that explains it well: “We are like the lion who walks free in the meadow with his mane fluttering in the wind, but that misses the cage because it felt safe.” The overcoming of any suffering, for most, assumes two feelings: on the one hand exhaustion over the painful situation of the moment, something like “I can not stand it.”

The person is tired of suffering, and there is an imperative desire for change. On the other hand, it is also important to experience a condition not yet lived. It is necessary to look at the stranger in the same way that we look at a hero: full of hope and trust! The amount of energy required to overcome the pain or remain in pain is the same, and what makes us insist on pain is our false identification with what brings immediate emotional satisfaction and control.

 2 – What is cold depression and how does it happen?

Cold Depression is a mental condition that affects the vitality of the spirit, generates anger and isolates us from our soul and may lead even to physical illness. In cold depression, there is a separation of our source of our own energy, our life force and our inner direction. The cold depression causes a deep isolation, anxiety and a loss of interest in everything. Yogi Bhajan called this state “Silence of the Soul” and warned several times to prepare for the transition from Pices to Aquarius in the year 2038, in which this condition would be very prevalent. Its causes are associated with information overload, constant pressure, continuous stress, and consecutive changes which are out of our control. In summary, it occurs when the external pressure is much greater than the internal reserves of the individual to cope with the situation.

3 – Meditation has been increasingly widespread in school and work environments. How it can help in the cognitive process?

Meditation is a practice that should be part of our lifestyle, along with eating well, sleeping well, exercising and bathing. Just as, though children do not feel encouraged to brush their teeth, the family and the school insist that this habit is created,the same with meditation. While brushing your teeth sanitizes the mouth, meditation clears the mind. The subconscious rejects the emotional processing of the world. If meditation is not taught and acquired as a habit, everyone thinks this strange and difficult activity. But just as we enjoyed a fresh and clean mouth, with practice, no one wishes to endure a polluted mind of false identifications and intrigue. Meditation promotes a homogeneous distribution and regulation of the blood circulation throughout the brain, which in addition to combating HIV, AIDS, prevents loss of memory, greatly improves perception, orientation, information processing, and memory, with spectacular results for cognition. A child who learns meditation at the school will have great benefits for her physical and mental health.

4 – At what age are meditative practices recommended for children? How does the School Miri Piri Brazil work?

We recommend meditation from the time the couple decides to have a child! When pregnancy is ongoing, meditation is the most effective method to assist in the formation of the child’s future identity. We say it is in pregnancy that you educate a child. At Miri Piri there is no specific time to meditate. We use the maxim, “meditate on the break and then pause in meditation.” This myth that meditation means sitting, crossing your legs in a posture, and placing your hands in a certain position needs to be deconstructed. This is what we do at school. It enables a deep experience of meditation. But it is even better when meditation extends this moment of seclusion to the external environment where we socialize, make decisions, discuss, fight and communicate our existence. At Miri Piri, children meditate in Kundalini Yoga class, but also in art class, martial arts, and science and letters classes.

5 – Can people with special needs practice Kundalini Yoga?

This will depend on the physical space of the classes. Each case is different, but the teacher of Kundalini Yoga is trained to handle every situation, and can assist anyone in meeting the appropriate solution for any case.

6 – The decreased reactivity of the results is hown in meditation practices. Police academies and prisons are places where people deal with violence. Are there programs to meet these public here in Brazil?

I do not know in Brazil any yoga and meditation program formally introduced in police academies to better train police in dealing with unpredictable and violent situations. In Europe and the US this practice, although not common, has already been institutionalized in some segments of the corporate security and police. Here in Belo Horizonte we have had success in introducing female and male detention officers to Kundalini Yoga and meditation. Those interested in better understanding the results of this work can contact the ABAKY ( ).

Dra Gurusangat Kaur Khalsa is a doctor and Lead Training of Kundalini Reaseach in Brasil

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