Controlling the Mind, What a Funny Idea Sirjee?
He talked to me lot of things about wrong doing of people in what he called a materialistic world and the importance of being spiritual.
“I don’t know the difference between both…” I replied.
“Ok. For, beginners like you, materialistic means being in this world. A spiritualist means he/she thinks always about the god and spiritual thing and detached from the material comforts…”
“In that case, I am a materialistic….” I said.
“These material comforts won’t last much…It won’t give you happiness, the cause of misery and sorrow comes from attachment to material world” he said.
“Oh, really?” I asked.
“Yes – you have to control your mind to get perfect happiness. That’s what my guru says…”
“How do we control the mind?” I asked.
“Meditation. There are many techniques effective in controlling thoughts so as to get perfect happiness. There are many methods – from focusing on objects or images, thinking through a complex idea, visualizing, chanting- all qualifying as meditation in the broad sense. Our aim is concentration of mind and then controlling it. Our guru teaches a new method, combining all techniques…”
“Oh, meditation can be taught? That’s amusing.What’s his fee?” I asked.
“Yes- that’s his greatness – the initial course is absolutely free. Then you can go for advance course for which there is only a nominal fee…”
“Oh, that is very kind of him…”
“Yes – he will teach you how to concentrate on single object/thought for long and control the mind…”
“Is it possible? I believed controlling the mind is a myth…”
“You are ignorant – with regular practice, anybody can control mind…” he said.
“Sir, you are using your own mind to control it… It is like entrusting the key of your treasury safe to a thief. The mind will keep on producing thoughts (its basic function), and you don’t have any control over it. Try this today – tell your mind that you want to have a sound sleep. Most likely you won’t get a sleep until mid-night…Or try not to think about a monkey…”
“But my guru said that meditation is concentration of mind”
“When we concentrate, there is a particular point on which we focus, and we do this to attain a particular goal. This process in itself is a tug of war. Popular belief is that meditation is a voluntary process. We sit with closed eyes in a corner of the room in a particular posture. Then we chant a particular mantra or visualize the form of a god or goddess. We may try to control our thoughts. This is what we normally call meditation. Is it right?”
“Yes – this is the method that my guru uses…”
“Sir, the fact is that meditation has nothing to do with it. Those techniques you use are only a suppression of the mind, which is temporary. When the process ends the chaotic mind returns and things are back to normal… In fact, it should be the other way around, meditation should be de-concentration, just seeing the mind and observing oneself in the moment, while not resisting thoughts or emotions. It may help more. The breathing exercise (pranayama) may also help normalizing thoughts, though you can’t control it”
“So, how do we meditate then?”
(Excerpt from my book “MIND YOUR MIND: Turn Frustration into Fascination”
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