Guard Your Mind: By Dr. Mourad Rashad

Chuang Tzu said: The beggar who guards his mind and fears the waywardness of his thoughts, burns through every bond with the fire of his vigilance. The beggar who guards his mind and fears his own confusion cannot fall. He has found the way to peace”.

In the above saying, a beggar is a man who has not considered himself rich in anything. Therefore he never thinks nor behaves as if he is superior to anyone. A beggar is a man who never claims anything to himself. A beggar is a man who receives everything that life offers and never considers that he is either the owner of what he receives, or that he deserves what he receives. With such a manner, with such a way of seeing and experiencing his earthly and worldly existence he transforms this earthly and worldly existence into Divine Graces. Divine Graces are by definition undeserved favors and unmerited assistance. That is why Jesus Christ said “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven” (Mathew 5:3)

The man who lives in such a manner is ego-less or nothing or a big fat zero or is no longer the center of life experiences. This man experiences genuine peace. A genuine peace, because he has experienced the Kingdom of Heaven, here and now on this earth.

This man has come to understand that there is no need of him to be at the center of any experience, he is always in the background, happy by just contemplating and watching. Even when he takes a role -either for himself or for others- he attributes nothing to himself, but only contemplates and watches the Majesty and Magnificence of the overall panorama of the experience. He is always submerged in the Divine Graces of the Kingdom of Heaven. This overall panorama will guide his actions. The Lord will guide his steps.

He has known that it is his own way of thinking -agreed upon by everyone- that convinces him that he is needed to live and function and all the rest of his “worldly” activities in a fixed particular way.

This beggar has discovered the simple truth that says “there is no Need of me, I am out of the way, I am no longer at the center in any way whatsoever and therefore the experience is Majestic, Magnificent and Peaceful”.

He needs nothing and he desires nothing and everything is fulfilled on its own accord. Perfection surrounds him, because he is in the Kingdom of Heaven. Whenever a need is created in the experience either for him or anyone else, he never worries or feels burdened, because he knows it will be fulfilled without anyone’s help -but does not know how. The Lord will fulfill it.

Nevertheless, he is not always in this state. Unless he guards his mind it might stray again in the old habitual way where it convinces him that he needs to do something. That is how he falls back again on his knees and is delivered into confusion once more as it was before, and returns to the center of the experience due to his old worldly mode of thinking.

Abu Bakr Al Shibly -the Sufi master- said:” I guarded my mind for twenty years, then my mind guarded me for another twenty, then a state came where my mind and I were guarded forever”.

Continuously guarding his mind and whenever he comes in contact with a worldly incident that might trigger the old habit, the beggar  immediately reminds himself of the fact that he is not needed and how Majestic, Magnificent and Peaceful the Experience is, for he is in the Kingdom of Heaven, where Perfection reigns.

When this happens, he takes a step or two back and leaves the panorama once more empty of him and become contented by just contemplating again the whole scene. Accordingly, everything takes care of everything, The Lord takes care.  Majesty, Magnificence and Peace are re-established once more. The Divine Graces shower again. That is how by being vigilant he faces life.

Therefore, he starts appreciating and cultivating Faith in the fact of not being needed, together with the concomitant Experience of the Majesty, Magnificence and Peace .Until one day he will cultivate enough Faith in the fact of not being needed for anything, then this Majestic, Magnificent and Peaceful experience will be Permanent as it was before he has created his ego and its world. Even the disappearance of his body by death will not touch this Majestic Experience. Why death will not affect this Experience? Because nothing of him is needed for this Magnificent Experience, not even his physical body. Hence Ramana Maharshi’s  last words: I am not going away. Where could I go? I am here.”

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