Don’t give the mind monopoly over your inner conversation
Our mind carries on a continuous one-way conversation inside us. It allures, grumbles, distracts. Using subtle suggestions or imperious instructions or anything in between, it distorts our view of things, thereby acting like our enemy, as the Bhagavad-gita (06.05) indicates.
For example, if someone snubs us, the mind may go on a complaining litany: “People always hurt me; no one cares for me; I am alone in this big bad world; life is not worth living.” If we passively listen to the mind’s rants, we give it monopoly over our inner conversation – and end up misled.
How can we resist the mind’s monopolization? By using our intelligence to counter its ideas.
What if our intelligence isn’t sharp enough? Then we can simply verbalize the mind’s ideas. For example, we can verbalize, “My mind is saying that life is not worth living because I have been snubbed.” Such second person reference to the mind reminds us that it is different from us and its ideas need to be critically evaluated.
What if we don’t recognize that the misleading inner voice belongs to the mind? Then we can simply verbalize our feelings: “I am feeling that life is not worth living because I have been snubbed.” Putting our emotions in words triggers our intelligence and helps us realize that our reaction is absurdly disproportionate.
Such verbalization and realization can come faster if we train our intelligence by regular Gita study.
Ultimately, we need to fix the mind on Krishna to cleanse it of its inimical nature. But sometimes by monopolizing our inner conversation, it can dishearten us in our bhakti practice. Challenging its monopoly prevents such discouragement and helps us better focus on Krishna.
Overall, by becoming alert participants in our inner conversation, instead of remaining naïve recipients, we can make wise choices.
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