Leave the mind alone!
Dear Didi, in your signature and on your web site, there is a beautiful quote. “Leave the mind alone, it will quieten itself! Meditate!”
I meditate, but it is more of a struggle and I always come out feeling not so good about my inability to become silent. Please would you explain this in full detail so that I understand it totally?
The mind is not really a problem. Your unnecessary involvement in the mind is the problem. When you understand this key sutra of the body-mind complex, you will hit bull’s eye.
What I mean by this is, the job of the mind is to bring up all our past samskaras one by one. We are only responsible for them. And the mind is only mechanically following a system of bringing up those seeds that we have sown in the past. A wise one recognizes this. He knows that thoughts, emotions, feelings, concepts, ideas, likes, dislikes, all these are samskaras that come up on their own, play for a while and then they dissolve. The wise one stops interfering with the mind. That is the meaning of leaving your mind alone!
How to not interfere with the mind?
The wise one does not start a dialogue with the samskaras of the past. It is the PAST! It does not mean anything. Even if a thought is about the future, you will notice that it has the root of some insecurity from the past or some other concept from the past, some idea from the past. No thought for the future can arise out of a seed that does not belong to the past. It’s not possible. So it does not matter whether you are thinking about the past or future. You are interfering with the process of the mind.
What to do when the mind chatters?
What is the meaning of observing?
One who observes is a “witness”. He does not get involved. He sits at the bank of the river of thoughts. He does not jump in and start swimming. He does not tell the river- go in this direction and not in that direction. He just sits at the bank and watches the river of thoughts flow past.
Be like a scientist! Watch how thought arises. Watch it till it stays. Watch it pass away. Watch like a stranger on the street, watches the world go by, uninvolved.
That person who manages to do this, he is a true spiritual scientist. He understands that the mind is not ‘I’. ‘I am not the mind’. ‘I am not these samskaras from the past and therefore, he does not take it personally.
Why are you not able to observe like a witness?
Your problem is that you take every thought, every concept, every idea, every emotion and every feeling very very personally. You think that this is ‘who I am’ and that is the mistake. Because you have this personal feeling towards the mind, you are not able to sit on the bank and just observe.
Wake up and realize, there is nothing personal about it. Stand at that bank and just watch! Watch every thought arise, stay for a while and pass away just like the waves in the ocean. Don’t get wet in that little wave, it’s not worth it!
But what if a major craving arises or a major aversion arises?
It grasps you. It pulls you in like a tsunami and before you know it, you are off the bank and into the water. Then what do you do?
- Step #1: Become aware that there is this craving or aversion. Just becoming aware is the key.
- Step #2: Uncling from that craving or aversion. What do I mean by un-cling? Release it. Let it go. It’s okay if I don’t think about this person right now and it’s okay if I don’t think about that crazy situation right now. Un-cling!
- Step #3: Relax the tension that is there in the mind. Any tension in the mind makes the body stiff.
- Step #4: Loosen the body by smiling. Just smile at the silliness of the thought and your getting attached to the thought.
- Step #5: Return back to sitting on the bank and observing the thoughts. If you were using an object of meditation like the breath, then you go back to the breath.
You will have to keep repeating these above steps again and again till that craving or aversion loses its control over you. Slowly and steadily when you master these steps, you will notice that you have learned to sit on that bank and just watch the thoughts pass by without jumping in.
And in that mindfulness, you will hit SILENCE. Real Meditation is the journey from being mindful to silent.
May you reach the silent shore soon. Sukhi bhava!
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