To beat problems, first beat the problematic mind down to size

When an army is fighting a war, it depends on its intelligence – its information sources – to know the strength of the enemy. But if the army’s intelligence has been penetrated and compromised by that very enemy, then this untrustworthy source will give misleading information. For example, it may misinform that the enemy forces are far bigger than what they actually are, thereby demoralizing the army and thus defeating it mentally even before the war has begun physically.

A similar misinformation campaign targets us internally when we battle against life’s inevitable challenges. In this inner battle, the misleader is the mind – it often misreports the size of the obstacle. It depicts the problem to be gargantuan, making us seem like ants utterly unequal to the task. And the more we listen uncritically to the mind’s assessment of the situation, the more we feel dwarfed and demoralized. Thus, our mind-distorted perception of the problem becomes a bigger problem than the problem itself.

To avoid being thus misled, we need to resist the temptation to immediately tackle the problem and instead invest time in beating the problem-magnifying mind down to size. For subduing the problematic mind, the most effective way is meditation, specifically spiritual meditation. Such meditation connects us internally with our unchanging side: our indestructible spiritual core and the highest spiritual reality, Krishna. The Bhagavad-gita (06.27) outlines the fruit of meditation: the mind becomes peaceful, being purged of the obsession with matter that makes it misperceive material things and misinform us.

Additionally, spiritual meditation enables us to experience Krishna’s shelter. This shelter reassures us that no matter how big the outer problem, the shelter of a far bigger reality awaits us within, always. By the resulting calmness and confidence, we can assess the problem objectively and tackle it intelligently.

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