Mind-shield (Manomayakosha) is the barrier we form as children to protect ourselves from unpleasant feelings like hurt for example. This is because we believe that everything – including those feelings – is real. Once we realise that the reality is pure consciousness and what is not permanent is not real, this barrier of Manomayakosha must go making way for the bliss to shine. Manomayakosha acts as a barrier preventing bliss to shine which is our essential nature. It is okay to be somewhat vulnerable to feelings once it is known that the reality is non-dual. Even if self-realisation has not taken place, but just this understanding takes place that fears are behind many acts that we unconsciously do and it is those fears that prevent us from experiencing ever present bliss, we are ready to work towards diluting the shield of the mind (Manomayakosha) via self inquiry. Diluting Manomayakosha via self inquiry means finding the root cause of any feeling that arises which is of the nature of hurt, anxiety, approval seeking, low self-esteem etc.
PS: Fear is not the only component of Manomayakosha. Desire is also another major component. The above write-up concentrates on the fear aspect.
Imagine a huge computer program running a play involving several holograms, each hologram playing specific role as decided by the computer program. The computer program is capable of simulating various emotions displayed by holograms. There is certain degree of artificial intelligence provided to each hologram, so that there is some free will as far as each hologram is concerned. As this play of holograms continues, various holograms in this play experience moments of joy and sorrow etc. Thanks to the artificial intelligence and certain conditions in the play, a particular hologram realises that the experience of joy comes and goes and it wants to make it permanent. It also wants to know what is making this whole thing happening. Using its artificial intelligence and accessing the central memory of the computer it is able to realise that essentially it is electromagnetic signal and not the role it is playing. This particular hologram becomes self realised from that point onwards but continues to play its role in a detached manner.
PS: The above write-up is only an approximation as the actual self-realisation would mean that the hologram knows that it is awareness and not just electromagnetic signal.
A cook touches a very hot utensil accidentally and automatically the body pulls the hand back.
An electrician touches a high voltage live wire accidentally and automatically the body pulls the hand back.
The above two examples are the illustrations of how things happen automatically without us doing them consciously. These actions happen via defence mechanism thanks to the nervous system.
It is easy to see via both of these examples that we are not the doers. However, when it comes to other acts like speaking for example it is not so easy to see that things are happening on their own. We often tend to own the doership. This is because, while tuning of attention does happen automatically, it happens so quickly when attention keeps on drifting from one place to the other that our conditioned intellect is unable to catch the autopilot behaviour. When this fact that everything happens by itself is recognised by watching the activities of body-mind, e.g. the appearance of thoughts, movement of hands, words coming out from mouth, happening of hearing via ears etc., the astonishing realisation that I am not doing anything and everything is happening by itself takes place (also refer to Bhagavad Gita 5.8, 5.9). After the recognition of this fact that if everything is just happening and I am not doing anything and this body-mind is like a robot, the question, “Who am I?” is natural to come. Seeking of the answer to this question may eventually take the seeker towards enlightenment when the seeker after finding itself sees itself everywhere.