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The Gecko of My Mind

A gecko was loose in my house!

I opened my front door to take in a package and a gecko ran in.

Opening the door distracted him from sun bathing and, in a jolt of fear, he made a move that was not in his best interest. Now he was trapped in my house hiding behind the sofa. And I was consumed with thoughts of finding the gecko.

This gecko was quick and elusive. In an attempt to get the gecko back outside, for several days I chased him, without success. As I chased him I started laughing. I observed one of my habits in the behavior of the gecko. I have done the same thing when I am distracted and then react out of fear. I make a move that is not in my best interest and feel stuck in the consequences of that action, bogged down by thoughts and feelings, ruminating over my missteps.

The Reflection of the Gecko

I realized that I have an old habit of chasing thoughts and meditating on the restless mind. I was reminded of what happens when I chase thoughts and how that is counter to the bliss of the Self. When I engage the thoughts swirling around in my mind, there is an immediate disconnection from the peace of my inner Self. In that, I abandon intelligence, Grace, Supreme Love, and my practice. I move from the state of the observer to the state of the doer because engaging these thoughts causes me to reach for how to control, manipulate, and manage the situation to avoid experiencing pain and discomfort.

In that moment of chasing the gecko, I was reminded of how much of a blessing it is to have crossed paths with Kedarji and be offered proven methods to calm and quiet my restless mind, so that I can be inspired from within and live in a state of Grace.

Surviving of My Inner Gecko

Several weeks had passed and I had given up on rescuing the gecko. One day, while running the sweeper, the gecko appeared on the threshold of the front door. No longer afraid of my presence or the vacuum noise, he seemed ready for relief of his suffering, ready for freedom.

As I looked at him, he was far removed from his robust stature some three weeks ago. A very thin and sickly sight he was. His beautiful green color had faded. I’m not sure how he survived, but he did. I opened the door, and he ran outside.

Watching him as he ran into the grass, I was reminded of how spiritually anemic I become when I give into the restlessness of the mind. I was thankful for the Grace extended to me that sustains me in periods of my forgetfulness and resistance when I act like the gecko.

Improved mental state

Kedarji shares that a mind that is restless, filled with thought constructs, has no other choice than to produce restlessness. “The restless mind only breeds confusion, anxiety doubt, worry, and fear. Nothing useful or productive has ever come from these. Therefore, a restless, agitated mind cannot be a source of inspiration, clarity, clear thinking, good decision making or well-being.”

Before I met Kedarji, I didn’t know my mind was restless or that a mind could be restless. I didn’t know or understand that a restless mind was the cause of many of my struggles and suffering in life.

I thought it was normal to think incessantly, having my mind narrating my experiences as I went about my day. I thought it was normal to live in a state of constant worry and anxiety. In this constant thought, it was easy for me to get distracted and give into mental or emotional swings, thus making decisions that were not in my best interest.

So, it was easy to get worn down and feel stressed out by everything that I experienced in life, even things I appeared to enjoy.

My ‘Old’ Normal

I thought living in this state was normal because no one, from parents, friends, teachers and even my past spiritual teachers had ever told me that living in a state of joy was my natural state of being. Nor had I ever heard that accessing this state of joy and peace can be had by going beyond the mind and the senses.

In one of the first programs I attended with Kedarji, he shared how it is possible to attain lasting inner peace and be free from the restlessness of the mind. And then, to demonstrate his message, he lead us through a meditation method, Witness Consciousness centering, that quieted my restless mind, in less than 3 minutes.

He instructed us to focus on the breath and passively observe any thought that comes up without having any response to it whatsoever – to witness any thought or emotion that comes up without having another thought or emotional sensation in response to it. Whatever sensation, thought or emotion comes the mind, just observe it passively as if looking at a picture or painting hanging on a wall.

I had never witnessed my thoughts before. I always followed them in meditation or performed visualizations as meditation. Both experiences always produced more thoughts. With this new experience, my mind slowed down and was actually quiet enough for me to notice the stark difference between what was my normal thought storm and this quiet tranquility.

Finally Peace

I was truly peaceful for the first time in my life. During this meditation, I didn’t drift back to thinking about my kids or list of chores. I didn’t drift off into thoughts of future scenarios and how I would manage them. I was absorbed in a state of peace. I felt my jaw unclench, and my body relax. I was content to just listen to my breath moving in and out of my body. This experience shifted my view of what and how I was engaging the world around me. Until I had this experience, I didn’t realize how much time I spent devoted to expending mental energy in sustaining my restless mind. I didn’t realize how much the thoughts I held impacted my happiness and well-being.

Continuing to attend programs, mini courses, and intensives, I learned how to gain more of the benefits of meditation, along with other time-honored methods to help me reign in the restless mind in every circumstance and situation of my existence here.

Kedarji shares with us that the only state worth living in is the state of indescribable Joy. Coming to live in this state begins with the contemplation of where one allows the mind to wander. He shared that if the mind is upset, or confused, the Self is not. The wandering mind conceals the Self.

A Reminder

My encounter with the gecko reminded me that I was falling back into my habit of chasing unhappiness in allowing my mind to wander into restlessness. This was magnified in a recent experience I had.

I was less than thrilled about going to our neighborhood homeowners association barbecue after getting not one, but two, sharply worded emails from the board secretary about the gate procedure for admitting visitors.

Since I’m the “new kid on the block,” my mind wandered into being confronted by this man and the board about how things are done here. My mind wandered into thoughts of how to defend myself. Should I play dumb or be sarcastic? Should I even defend myself at all? After all, I have the gate procedure instructions and have had the checkpoint app installed on my phone for over a year now. And if they cared to look at my gate history, they would find that I do know the procedure and how to add visitors. I have caused no problems or issues with guest admitting procedure. This was an isolated incident bred from misunderstandings.

A Miscommunication

Earlier that day, there had been a miscommunication between me and the corporate office of the pest control company I had coming to the house. So when the office called to cancel my lawn spraying service appointment that day due to rain, I didn’t realize, nor was I told, that I was still getting the indoor pest control inspection visit that day. So, assuming I was not getting any visitors, I didn’t put the company name on the gate list.

Then about 5 minutes later I receive a call from the pest control technician stating that the gate won’t let him in. He was not on my list. I had to give verbal permission to the guard. So I did.

When the tech got to my house, he said, “I’ve been coming in and out of this property for 15 years and have never been stopped at the gate. Our company is in and out of this property dozens of times a day. So, when he stopped me, I knew it was a new guard and he didn’t have a grasp on letting commonly known contractors through. If they don’t do that and stop everyone, the traffic backs up to the red light and impedes the flow of traffic on the main street.” Then we had a laugh about it. And I shared that the guard let in my handyman last week without his name being on my list. He didn’t call to confirm his day, so I didn’t put him on. I only knew he was on his way when I received a text message from the gate app stating my guest had been cleared to enter. So really, is there a procedure? And we laughed more.

As the day went on, I couldn’t stop ruminating over the 2 emails. I began to doubt if I could handle myself in a dignified manner. I was angry. But, I did want to meet my neighbors at the barbecue.

I Went Inside

So, before I went to the barbecue, I sat to chant for 20 minutes and then meditated. I allowed the thoughts to just be there. I was present with what was moving in and out of my mind. Removing the judgement and response to the thoughts allowed me to see deeper into what was taking place.

I saw that the thoughts were driving a need in me to be the doer, to be right and to prove that I didn’t do anything wrong to warrant the emails. I saw that I was holding assumptions about what these people may think of me. I wanted them to like me and accept me. I saw that I was engaging in fear because I was afraid of violating all the rules that go along with living in an HOA. When I finished meditation, I was calm and no longer bothered by the restless thoughts. I had a better understanding of what was going on within me.

As I walked into the party, I was surprised to see the former owner of my house. I learned that she still has ties to the neighborhood and gets invited to many functions. In a moment of awkwardness we walked toward each other and exchanged greetings. I offered my condolences on the recent passing of her husband. She softened and hugged me, and then our exchange morphed into her taking me around to the tables to introduce me to the rest of the neighborhood.

I was so present in the moment that I experienced peace during what was a bit of an awkward situation in seeing the former owner, who is still very attached to her house. Everything else worked out by Grace. The president of the Board greeted me briefly as I passed by his table.   No one else on the Board even bothered to engage me as they were occupied with beer and the grill pit.

Sitting In Prison With the Key to the Gate

Rumi has shared, “One of the marvels of the world: the sight of a soul sitting in prison with the key in its hand.” The gecko had to wait to be freed because I had to open the door. I don’t have to wait. The key is in my hand. The moment of freedom is now, in the methods offered in Nityananda Shaktipat Yoga.

Taking the time to shift my inner state before I went to the barbecue made the difference in my experience of a quiet mind and being present with the people and the conversations. I realized the outcome was based on my inner state. Had I gone to the barbecue frazzled by the restless mind, I am sure I would have been met with resistance. Being present and peaceful opened the door for Grace to take over and free me from the prison of the restless mind.

Deana Tareshawty performs her selfless service as Vice President of our public charity, The Bhakta School, in addition to serving as a program leader and harmonium player. She also serves on our Board of Directors. Additionally, she holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and a double minor in Biology and Chemistry. She is a certified Ecology of Well-Being practitioner and the owner of Inspired Wholeness. She is also a trained Reiki Master in Usui Reiki.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. During the reading I have been found myself in some of your own description. To my surprise, that “at hand” aproach, simple and clear, gave the solution to some of my old and so far unsolved problems.
    Thanks for sharing

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