What is the Mind?

The most common answer to this question is that the mind and brain are synonymous. They are related, but the mind is far bigger and more powerful than the brain.

What follows are a variety of comments and definitions on what the mind is.

  • Yogananda: “…all the faculties of intelligence.”
  • Wikipedia: “A mind (pron.: /ˈmnd/) is the complex of cognitive faculties that enables consciousnessthinkingreasoningperception, and judgment.
  • Swami Sivananda:  “Mind is not a gross thing, visible and tangible. Its existence is nowhere seen. Its magnitude cannot be measured.”
  • Dalai Lama: “The ultimate nature of mind is essentially pure. This pristine nature is technically called “clear light.” The various afflictive emotions such as desire, hatred and jealousy are products of conditioning. They are not intrinsic qualities of the mind because the mind can be cleansed of them. When this clear light nature of mind is veiled or inhibited from expressing its true essence by the conditioning of the afflictive emotions and thoughts, the person is said to be caught in the cycle of existence, samsara. But when, by applying appropriate meditative techniques and practices, the individual is able to fully experience this clear light nature of mind free from the influence and conditioning of the afflictive states, he or she is on the way to true liberation and full enlightenment.”
  • Deepak Chopra: “I started by looking at the relationship between mind and body, but then I realized that the mind is complicated. How do you even define the mind? The best definition of mind that I’ve heard comes from a UCLA psychotherapist, Daniel Siegel, who says it’s a process, and it’s a relational and embodied process that regulates the flow of energy and information in our bodies. Now that’s a mouthful, but actually when you begin to understand it, you do recognize that it’s meaning, more than anything else.”

The mind is very powerful….very subtle and critical to understand if one is to fully live a wisdom inspired life.


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