Focus on the mind before focusing on its focus

Suppose we were studying in a library and our neighbor repeatedly pointed our attention here and there, mostly towards unimportant things and only occasionally towards something worthwhile. We would soon train ourselves to respond discerningly to that distracter. Whenever they would point to something, instead of immediately focusing on it, we would first focus on them, assess their mood and then decide whether to give them our attention.

We need to adopt a similar strategy for dealing with our mind. It often wanders to various things, many of which are neither important nor urgent. If we naively let our attention go wherever the mind wants to take it, we will find ourselves underusing our time, talent and energy. And such underuse is far from the sole result of the mind’s distractedness. It can even make us abuse our energy for self-defeating and self-destructive purposes.

Can the mind come up with some good ideas? It’s possible, occasionally. But that usually happens when it is situated in the mode of goodness, at least partially. Only then is it capable of the sustained reflection necessary for assimilating, verbalizing and actualizing a worthwhile insight. That’s why we need to evaluate the mind before deciding our course of action.

Pertinently, the Bhagavad-gita (06.26) urges us to restrain the mind whenever it wanders. Gita wisdom explains that we are at our core souls and that we can realize our fullest potential for happiness in loving and serving Krishna. We need to make his service our topmost purpose. While we are engaged in purposeful service to Krishna, if the mind starts distracting us, we needn’t immediately shift our attention to its object of interest. Instead, we can focus on the mind first, evaluate the mode influencing it and then decide whether to make its focus our focus.

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2 Comments

  1. Its a tough job for an average people like me. It is even tougher to make my mind to keep the lesson always awaken in my heart and mind. That I would think first and then react evaluating the thing that appears before me. In my case it may be possible only with the help of sadhu/vaishnab Jana.
    Hare Krishna Hare Krishna.

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  2. Afocussed mind alone can get us nearer to Krishna

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