Being mindful of evil mantras that play automatically in our head

June 18, 2015

Contrary to popular myth. Our greatest enemies are usually not responsible for our state of suffering.

Usually we ourselves are our greatest enemies.

As since anger, resentment and ill will is merely a function of how we choose to see people, events and situations. Frequently, we create our own ideal conditions for suffering to take root.

Since it is not unusual for me to live and work alone for prolonged spells in a state resembling solitary confinement – I am always be mindful of how my mind can suddenly turn against me. Often without me even realizing this perceptive shift that can lead me to thoughts of anger and resentment.

When one is alone cut off from the world for long periods. It is very easy to hold on to a evil mantra in the mind only for it to keep playing on automatic repeat mode again and again and again. At some point we will come to convinced that this is the only way to see someone….a situation…..a event etc etc.

In this insidious way our anger and resentment can only grow bigger and bigger, till finally we become the very architects of the temple of suffering.

That is why whenever I find my mind turning against me and repeating an evil mantra about someone who slighted me or a hurtful incident – I have to consciously remind myself to switch off this evil mantra and to think instead of pleasant and happy thoughts.

This is how I am able to remain sane and effective in a very harsh and isolated environment.


‘The mind has a habit of wandering. That is the nature of the mind. It is as capricious as the wind. As within a mind, there are many minds and they all push and pull at different directions propelling us to either the future or past. In these places faraway from the present we will often replay our fears and aspirations as we watch it all unfurl in technicolor and Dolby sound system somewhere in the cinema of our mind.

For example, in the past if someone has slighted me. It is not unusual for my mind to replay that hurtful scene again and again, till eventually I become so consumed by anger and revenge.

These days, since I make a conscious effort to be mindful of how my mind can turn suddenly against me, whenever this happens.

I will make a conscious effort to think of only the good aspects of this person who once slighted me… this way, I find that I am even able to develop a high level of fondness, compassion and respect for even my enemies and tormentors.

At times my respect and fondness for my enemies is so high that whenever they see me. They become even more fearful and anxious, as they do not understand how it’s possible for a man to respond to them so calmly without the slightest trace of anger.

This is just to illustrate the power of being conscious of how we can turn off or change the evil mantra broken records in our heads. By just being mindful of what we are thinking about and where our thoughts are leading us. Since we always mindful of how we can be our worst enemies. We are able to consciously direct our thoughts to a place where we can create ideal conditions to live without the need to suffer unnecessarily.

Recently, I gently shared with a mother who has a habit of scolding her daughter in public – ‘why are you angry with your daughter all the time. Do you not realize, your daughter will not be a young school girl all the time. In no time, she will grow up and move to the city to further her studies and before you know it, she will be a mother herself….and you will both be separated….so really you both do not have much time together.’

I then pointed to flowering durian trees and told her, ‘the time you both have is just a fleeting season – why don’t you make the best of it. Why don’t you create good, happy and fond memories for yourself and your daughter?’

I went on to share with this woman due to the dangerous nature of my work. I have not seen my children for years. I went on tell her, there are times when I cannot even remember how they look, sound and smell like. I pressed home the point, she was indeed a very fortunate and rich woman. My exact words were something to the effect, ‘heaven smiles upon you.’ When I shared with her all this, the woman who was always angry began to soften and eventually started to sob.

Perhaps she realized then, being able to see her child everyday should never be taken for granted. Thereafter the woman gave me her solemn word from today onwards, she would dedicate herself to making pleasant and happy memories for her daughter and herself instead of scolding her all the time at the top of her voice in the pasar.

When I shared all this with the woman who likes to scold her daughter – suddenly, it was as if she was abruptly awakened from a deep evil spell….and it was only then that she was able to see the error of her ways.

Such is the power of being aware of evil mantras that can take hold of our thoughts and play like automatic elevator music in our mind.

Frequently, we are not even aware of it’s insidious pull and how it influences our mood. It is only when we are conscious of how our own mind can inadvertently lead us to suffering that we are able to change the music, thereby taking control over our capricious mind.

But if like the woman who has the bad habit of scolding her daughter in public all the time. If we do not know. All we would be doing is reliving hell and suffering again and again.

Research and study this well, especially when dealing with unreasonable, irritating and inconsiderate people.

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