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Swami Vivekananda on How to control the mind?

How to control the mind? Swami Vivekananda answers this tough question.

The first lesson in controlling the mind is self awareness; sit for some time and let the mind run on. Let the monkey mind jump as much as he can; you simply wait and watch.

(Swami Vivekananda used to compare a restless mind to a to a restless monkey which is stung by the scorpion of jealousy, drunk with the wine of desire, and possessed by the demon of pride.)

Give the monkey the rein; many hideous thoughts may come into it; you will be astonished that it was possible for you to think such thoughts. But you will find that each day the mind’s vagaries are becoming less and less violent, that each day it is becoming calmer. In the first few months you will find that the mind will have a great many thoughts, later you will find that they have somewhat decreased, and in a few more months they will be fewer and fewer, until at last the mind will be under perfect control; but we must patiently practice every day.

Swami Vivekananda