- Created on 31 October 2011
Wild mind. Incessant thoughts driving us into action, pinning us to bed in depression, or immobilizing us in loops of repeated ignorant action. Whether we're pushed forward, held back, or cycling around the same territory, thoughts are powerful. While more subtle than our corporeal bodies, thoughts have a density, capable as they are of co-opting our lives.
No one likes to be captive to the dictate of their thoughts and the evident suffering they can cause: lack of self worth, limiting beliefs, or out-of-control emotions. Thus we have elaborate philosophical and psychological systems to assist us break through, or at least be in control of, the mind.
We want to awaken to the self beyond the mind, the self beyond the ego, the observer of thoughts. To that self who experiences genuine relief when we gain mastery of the mind. So we try to corral wild mind. Rope it, tranquilize it, stomp it—somehow contain it.
Some of us have become quite accomplished in the pen with the wild bull. So astute, we often leave the fenced-in area with clothes and hair still looking presentable. Practices of living in the present moment, meditating, forcibly stopping negative thought patterns, positive affirmations, and the like, offer much of the tools we need. Patiently control it.
Here's another skill, coming to us from Bhagavad Gita: Ignore it. Get out of the pen and walk way. Let the mind reel on, ignore the sound. Focus on what deserves your full attention: You!
You are not the mind.
You are the Self who is relieved by controlling the mind, and wants to awaken to deeper levels of living.
Your Self remains hidden in its dwelling—the heart—a settled, wholesome environment diametrically opposed to the mind's domain.
We need to move beyond the mind and we can't do that only by employing techniques for controlling it. If we remain focused on dominating or transcending the mind, we inadvertently remain within the mind's territory, and thus its ultimate control.
Walk from the mind. You'll be able to focus productive attention where contemplation is deserved: on your conscious self, Conscious Heart. That self requires more than stopping the assault of the mind.