Letting the mind run free is the quickest path to exhaustion
After waking up in the morning, suppose we soon feel tired, even though we have hardly exerted ourselves. Why might that be? Often, such exhaustion is not physical, but mental.
For example, the previous day, someone may have hurt us. Consequently, resentful or revengeful thoughts may be running wild within us. And they may drain us of clarity and energy: clarity to decide what to do and energy to do it.
Sometimes, we can trace the cause of our exhaustion to such specific negative thought-loops. Frequently however, the cause is more generic: the mind’s ceaseless and fruitless wandering. When we let our mind wander free, it hops restlessly from one thought to the next. It doesn’t contemplate any issue long enough to address it tangibly, but just goes around in circles, leaving us increasingly vexed, overwhelmed and exhausted.
The mind is like a child. On waking up, a child may frolic noisily and excessively and then get so tired as to fall asleep anywhere, anytime. His parents need to regulate his activities to ensure that he has energy to go to school.
Similarly, we too need to parent our mind. However, the mind is very difficult to restrain and is extremely dangerous when unrestrained. The Bhagavad-gita (06.26) urges that we restrain the mind whenever and wherever the mind wanders.
To help us discipline the mind, Gita wisdom reveals the supreme reality, Krishna, He is all-attractive and is the source of the supreme love and the supreme joy. When we practice bhakti-yoga for focusing our consciousness on him, we become purified and start relishing his attractiveness, thereby purging the mind of its restless tendencies.
When we recognize the mind’s tendency to exhaust us, we can determinedly strive to restrain it by practicing bhakti-yoga and thereafter redirect the conserved energy more constructively.
Think it over:
- How can our thoughts drain our energy?
- How is the mind similar to a child? And how is it dissimilar?
- How can we spiritually discipline the mind?
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