The best way to watch the mind is by having something better to watch

Our mind often acts as an enemy. That’s why we all need to watch our mind, just as a country needs to watch a hostile neighbor. However, the mind is not usually outright aggressive; it is frequently seductive. That’s why if we watch it indiscriminately, we may get captivated by it. 

To understand how best we can watch the mind, we need to understand how it works. The mind is like an inner screen which is meant to display inputs from the senses for us souls to perceive and process. Thus, the mind is meant to act like a window to the outer world. However, the mind can at any moment change into a movie screen that shows various distracting fantasies. Initially, that movie appears as a small popup in a corner. When we pay attention to it, that popup zooms out and fills the whole screen. Though most of the mind’s popups are trivial or irrelevant, some can be about important things that need our attention. 

To process the mind’s popups intelligently, we need to have something better to focus on. If we are working on something important on a computer, we will stay aware of whatever notifications pop up without getting allured by those that are irrelevant. 

The best thing we can watch is the all-attractive ultimate reality, Krishna. When we focus on him through remembrance and service, that focus gives us a higher satisfaction and stimulation that helps us become immune to the mind’s allurements. Pertinently, the Gita’s sixth chapter that describes various strategies for controlling the mind concludes by declaring that the best way to control it is by fixing it on Krishna (06.47). 

Think it over:

  • Why is watching the mind tougher than watching an enemy?
  • How is the mind meant to work? How does it work against us?
  • Why is focusing on Krishna the best way to watch the mind?

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06.47 And of all yogis, the one with great faith who always abides in Me, thinks of Me within himself and renders transcendental loving service to Me – he is the most intimately united with Me in yoga and is the highest of all. That is My opinion.

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