Muster determination to master distraction
Distraction is one of the biggest problems on the path of devotion. When we strive to fix the mind on Krishna internally, then we feel distracted by various ambivalent emotions that range from non-devotional to anti-devotional. And externally we may get distracted by various activities that too spread across a similar spectrum.
The Bhagavad-gita urges us to not become discouraged by such distractions, knowing that they are natural to the mind, which is restless and unstable. Rather than being discouraged, we can be prepared, knowing that whenever and wherever the mind wanders, we have it in us to bring it back under control, as the Gita (06.26) recommends.
The act of mustering determination can become a relishable exercise in devotion through a prayerful connection.
Critical for countering distraction and curbing the mind is determination. The Gita (06.25) points to this pivotal role of determination by using the compound word buddhya-dhriti-grihataya (intelligence sustained by determination). This intelligence comes best from scripture which helps us understand how we being souls, parts of Krishna, are meant to delight eternally in spiritual love with him. Just as a focused driver keeps the car on track despite its default tendency to veer off course, similarly our determined focus, founded in intelligence and scripture, can help us counter the default distractions that we are inevitably prone to.
Thankfully, the act of mustering determination doesn’t have to be a dry, laborious exercise in willpower alone, as in the case of an exhausting workout. It can become a relishable exercise in devotion, wherein by our prayerful connection with Krishna, we gain higher wisdom and deeper fulfillment, thereby recognizing not just the unworthiness of most distractions but also their unattractiveness, as compared to the all-attractive nature of Krishna.
Thus, by offering our heart in devotion to the master of the heart, we can muster the determination to master distraction.