Berm the Mind ~ Amardeep Photography

From vantage points spread across Laohuzui, observing the meticulously crafted rice terraces, I was reminded of the proc...



Berm-Hdr (15K)Berm the Mind

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From vantage points spread across Laohuzui, observing the meticulously crafted rice terraces, I was reminded of the process of internal growth as I have understood.

The internal faculties of our subtle body comprising of Mind, Ego and Intellect are preordained with specific functions, which they faithfully perform, resulting in experience overlays on the Self that becomes perceived reality.

Mind: Remains focused on motivating the Self to undertake the path of least resistance. Simply put, in any situation encountered, it will tell the Self to choose the path of Sense gratification.

Intellect: It is the faculty entrusted with the power to discriminate. With rationalization, it motivates the Self to consider paths other than that suggested by the Mind. These options are intrinsically the Right paths.

Ego: The trump card that always emerges in the instant when the Intellect is about to overcome the path suggested by the Mind. At that crucial instant, it anchors on past experiences and future desires, to cloud the intellect, resulting in the Self falling back into sense gratification path that the Mind wants it to move towards.

Forever tousled between these faculties, what then is the way to naturally gravitate towards the path suggested by Intellect, ignoring the Mind and overcoming the clouding by the Ego?

The slopes of Laohuzui valley are akin to the Mind, offering the path of least resistance to rain water, gravitating it to sheer wastage. Over years, the farmers of this region have cut the slopes to make terraces and locked them with berms. These embanked terraces help in collection of rain water, enabling high yield rice cultivation.

In photographing these berm slopes, I could draw parallel to the essence of the message conveyed for Mind management in the hymn below from the spiritual scripture of the Sikhs.

Raise the berms around mind’s fields
for a guest only comes to the house that can support it.
O clouds, rain now; as what would be the use after the season has passed?
Nanak sacrifices to those who have thus trained their minds.

Third Nanak (Guru Amardas), page 517 of Adi Granth

Pursuits of life need to be spent towards creating berms around the Mind, so that its natural tendency to gravitate thoughts towards the path of least resistance of sense gratification become restricted. In this manner, the mind can be prepared to receive the rain shower of right Intellect, untainted by the Ego of past experiences and future desires.

With these thoughts, I leave you to enjoy the symmetry amongst these man made berms on the hills of Laohuzui valley, filled with water after rain showers, being prepared for plantation of rice saplings. These terraces are located on the southern slopes of Ailao Mountain in Yuanyang province of China. The terraces have been patiently crafted for generations by the Hani people, whose ancestors came to these steep mountains about 2,500 years ago. In their struggle against the difficult terrain they successfully established these terraces, where they now grow rice in order to make a living.

Similarly, with effort, Mind too can be crafted.

Laohuzui Rice terraces, China
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