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The nature of the mind. This subject has been of interest to spiritual seekers, perhaps since time immemorial. Some ancient texts liken the mind to the reins of a chariot, which controls our senses. The senses are likened to the horses which drive the chariot of our body. The five primary senses – sight, hearing, speech, smell and touch – send inputs from the external world to our brain. These inputs are processed by the (finer nature of our) mind, which converts them into thoughts, and sends feedback to our senses.

The reason why spiritual seekers have always been interested in understanding the nature of the mind is because understanding enables the possibility of control. The consequences of an uncontrolled mind can be felt by us in our senses – imagine a chariot with wild horses where the reins are loose and the charioteer is not paying attention. The consequences of our senses being out of control are stress – physical, mental, psychological – perhaps even spiritual stress.

“I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief” – Gerry Spence

In the chariot analogy, who or what is this charioteer that holds the reins of our mind? What are some techniques that we can use to study the nature of our mind? (Very often, a good beginning is observation). What are some ways that we can control the mind? (One of the oldest techniques is to engage in silence and stillness). Can we understand the nature of the mind by ourselves, or do we need a teacher to help us? Once we do understand its nature, and even learn to control it – where do we go from there on our spiritual path?

I invite you to join the #SpiritChat community on Sunday September 16th at 9am ET / 2pm UK / 6:30 India as we explore some of these questions and explore the nature of the mind. I hope this hour will serve as the continuation of this exploratory journey for all of us…


Questions asked during the live chat from 9am to 10am ET (Sep 16th 2012)

Q1. The nature of the mind. Why is it important to examine it? #SpiritChat 

Q2. What are some techniques that we can use to study the mind? Do we need a teacher? #SpiritChat

Q3. What are some ways that we can control the mind? Is control even necessary? #SpiritChat 

Q4. What is the origin of our thought patterns? Internal or external? Or... #SpiritChat

Q5. Some say that developing our intellect can helps us control our thoughts? Agree or disagree? #SpiritChat 

Q6. Can too much intellectual growth hurt spiritual growth? Why or why not?  #SpiritChat 

Q7. By what means are we influenced by the minds of others? How does this impact our spirit? #SpiritChat

Final Q8. What three things will you add/subtract this week from your life to transform your mind? #SpiritChat 

Update: SpiritChat Transcript for Sep 16th 2012 – The Mind and the Spirithttp://d1.scribdassets.com/ScribdViewer.swf?document_id=106093816&access_key=key-1vimj6s6leeiskuqdu1d&page=1&viewMode=scroll