Watch the mind, or the mind will catch you
Suppose we are living in a high crime locality where thieves will catch and steal from us if we aren’t alert. Naturally, we will give the highest priority to staying alert.
We all already live in such a high crime locality. That locality is our inner world, where reigns a formidable thief: our own mind. Our mind is formidable not just because it is so strong but also because it is so stealthy. At any moment, it can sneak in and steal away that which matters most: our consciousness. Why does our consciousness matter so much? Because it is our fundamental resource for doing anything at all.
How does the mind pull off the robbery of our consciousness? By deluding us into a sense of complacency and blindness. Because the mind is inside us, it often passes below the threshold of our perception.
To notice it, we need to expand our perception so that we start perceiving our inner world. For such perception expansion, the Bhagavad-gita is a time-tested guidebook. Urging us to become more watchful about our inner world, the Gita (06.34) cautions that the mind is restless, reasonless, ruthless and relentless.
How can we protect ourselves from our mind’s formidable power? By watching it carefully. Significantly, the best way to watch the mind is by having something higher to watch and work on. If we seek to watch the mind alone, it will subtly swallow us into its illusions and illusory actions. Instead, we can focus on a higher reality, especially the highest reality, Krishna. When we connect with him through inner remembrance and outer service, that connection will eventually become increasingly fulfilling. Thus, we will see the mind’s distraction as a deprivation, and get the resolve to resist it firmly and transcend it eventually.
Think it over:
- Why does our consciousness matter so much?
- What does our mind rob from us? How does it rob?
- What is the best way to watch the mind?
06.34 The mind is restless, turbulent, obstinate and very strong, O Krishna, and to subdue it, I think, is more difficult than controlling the wind.
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