The mind is a slow learner – learn to help it learn

Suppose parents learn that their child, who had been struggling at school, has dyslexia. This knowledge, though distressing, is also empowering. How? Because they can now move beyond blaming him as lazy or themselves as incompetent to learning how to help him learn. When they access the resources for special needs kids, they find, to their relief and joy, their child does indeed learn.

What applies to our biological child also applies to our inner child: our mind. The Bhagavad-gita (06.26) refers to the mind as restless, a characteristic typical of children. The mind is like a child. And when it comes to learning, especially learning the truth that real happiness is found not in worldly gratification but in spiritual realization, the mind is like a dyslexic child – it is an extremely slow learner.

Whenever the mind relapses to its shortsighted ways, we blame it as wretched or we blame ourselves as weak-willed. Neither form of blaming helps. Instead, we need to learn to help it learn. The best process for helping it learn is bhakti-yoga. By contact with Krishna, it becomes purified, thereby becoming healed of its learning disability.

But even before such healing happens, we can seek in the ambit of bhakti the special spiritual stimuli that the mind likes such as spiritual music, scriptural study or deity darshan. When we expose the mind to that stimulus regularly, it starts delighting in Krishna, thereby becoming increasingly attracted to him. Over time, it understands that Krishna is the source of supreme shelter and satisfaction. Thus, its attraction to him expands from that particular manifestation to his other manifestations and to his service in all walks of life.

When we thus learn how to make the mind learn, it becomes our friend in our life-journey towards achievement and fulfillment.

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