During our idle time, the mind works overtime

We often look forward to holidays when we can get a break from life’s daily grind and just relax. But unfortunately, during such breaks, we frequently find that small things make us annoyed, worried, irritated.

Why does this happen? Because our tense mind doesn’t let us relax.

We live in a culture that is largely in the mode of passion. And we live with a mind that too is mostly in the mode of passion. Because of such outer and inner passion, we feel in control only when we are running around, doing things that give us a sense of being in charge. During our break time, when we are not running around doing things, the mind doesn’t have anything passionate to get into. Consequently, it gravitates toward the mode of ignorance, where it starts hyperventilating about its apparent lack of control. It starts fretting over the many things that have gone wrong in the past. Or it starts fearing the many things that may go wrong in the future. With our mind working overtime in such fretting and fearing, it’s natural that small things soon start getting to our nerves.

Pertinently, the Bhagavad-gita (06.26) reminds us that we need to refocus our wandering mind. How do we apply this Gita directive to prevent the mind from misusing our leisure time? By understanding that breaks may not automatically relax us; we may need to consciously strive to use those breaks to engage our mind in wholesome activities that raise it to the mode of goodness. Thereby, we can contemplate and appreciate the things that really count, including especially the supreme unchanging reality, Krishna.

When we thus learn not to leave our idle time to our mind, but to use that time to gently uplift it, our breaks will become sublimely relaxing and rejuvenating.

Think it over:

  • How does our mind make us miserable during our idle time?
  • How can we use our breaks more fruitfully?
  • What can you do to gently uplift your mind during your leisure time?


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