To best work with the mind, first work on the mind
Every device requires basic maintenance for smooth functioning. Otherwise, like a woodcutter working with a blunt axe, the device-user may well toil inefficiently, putting in double the work and getting half the output.
Among the many devices we use, our mind is one of the most complex, subtle and potent. Yet because it exists within us, we may not think of it as something distinct from us, as a device that can work efficiently or inefficiently or even destructively. But the mind is indeed a psychological device that interfaces between us souls and our bodies. The Bhagavad-gita (15.09) indicates that the mind is the central coordinating point for the senses. It integrates the information about the outer world provided by the senses and presents that information to the soul. And it channels the soul’s intention to the senses, which express that intention through action in the outer world.
Due to its continuous contact with the external world, the mind often gets contaminated, even clogged, with the dust of worldly desires.
Due to its continuous contact with the external world, the mind often gets contaminated, even clogged, with the dust of worldly desires. With our mind thus congested, we find ourselves repeatedly distracted by, for example, fancies about petty indulgences or frustrations about trivial inconveniences. As our mental energy gets dissipated, we end up under-performing or even self-destructing.
To perform more effectively, we need to invest quality time in mental maintenance. The best way to clean the mind is by meditating on the purest reality, God, Krishna, who is accessible through the sacred sound of mantras. By starting our day with mantra meditation that provides non-material nourishment, we can create a foundation of mental clarity on which to build our day’s performance.
When we thus train ourselves to work first on the mind through daily meditation, we will work best with the mind, often surprising ourselves with our focus and fruitfulness.
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