There are umpteen number of experiences that we go through each day. Each moment teaches us a lesson to open our eye of the mind to see reality as it is and also watch what is not.
Our happiness or sadness is directly dependent on our acceptance of ‘what is’ and leaving our dependency on ‘what is not’. What is the difference between ‘what is’ and ‘what is not’? You may be living in a house right now. That house can have certain facilities, certain problems related to the road and water supply. You may have some type of neighbours living beside your house and they may be pleasing you or not really to your liking. You may be going through serious trouble related to your environment around the house. All these and more put together will come under the category of ‘what is’. That is your reality.
Now let us see what is not. You walk out or drive on the road with many potholes that get filled with water in the rainy season. As your wheel touches the bottom of the pit, you feel a sharp pain up your spine. Up to now it is ‘what is’. The moment you begin to think, “Oh, this government is so irresponsible,” “I think this place is cursed”, “how many times will they dig this road?”, “the councillors are not doing their job,” “I think wherever I go, I will not get rid of this problem,” all these thoughts that run in your head will come under the category of ‘what is not’. This ‘what is not’ is called maya. Ya Ma Sa Maya—‘what is not’ is maya. This is the most clearly confusing definition of maya.
If you can take care that your mind does not revel or get troubled about dealing with the ‘what is not’ factor, dealing with the ‘what is’ factor becomes much easier. Taking the same example step by step, if you are having to deal with difficult neighbours—“They are slamming the door when I pass by”—just observe the numerous ‘what is not’ factors that you are contending with. So what, even when the wind blows hard, doors slam! So a little vibration of the mind is lesser when you think this way and you won’t make preparations to shift your house, just because they slam the door when you pass by. When you ignore the slamming in this manner, thinking it is just the wind blowing, how long will you think they will have the energy to slam doors at you? No reaction, so why waste my energy in doing it! When you handle the ‘what is not’, there is a possibility that the ‘what is’ will change. Even if it doesn’t change outside, definitely there is a change in you. You may end up even saving a few lakh rupees this way, by simply rewiring your mind to tune in to “what is”, and be peaceful!