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Defeat The Tricks Of Mind To Succeed In Spiritual Endeavor

We have to understand what happens during any form of meditation. While meditating, the mediator tries to bring one’s mind and thoughts under control. There is an effort to streamline the process of thinking and then to regulate the thoughts or flow of ideas. This is done in many ways but the whole exercise is meant to bring some discipline to the mind. But the mind is responsible for almost all the actions we perform and excepting the rarest breed of people who have completely mastered their minds, the mind dictates what to do and what not to do, all the time. So, when the mind sees that discipline is being enforced upon it, it very strategically diverts the attention of the meditator to something else.  

Our mind plays tricks on us and tries to divert our attention to things that take us away from our pursuit of controlling or disciplining the mind.  

The mind plays tricks on us to protect itself whenever we try to discipline it or try to kill it by annihilating all thoughts, in order to transcend the mind and know our true nature, Brahman.  

The disturbance in your mind asks you to do something other than meditation or the controlling of thoughts.  

Sometimes, the mind also asks you to get up from your meditation and attend to some work that you had completely forgotten and remembered just when you sat for meditation. This is also a trick of the mind. It could have reminded you of that task before, but it keeps it hidden and brings it out as its trump card, just when you want to discipline or restrain it. Not just that, it creates an urgency and tells you that you have to attend to that task immediately.  

Your mind also asks you to do something other than meditation or the controlling of thoughts like singing devotional songs or reading scriptures. Through this technique, the mind has successfully made you believe that you are doing something very spiritual and at the same time obviating the possibility of its being controlled or disciplined.  

All distractions and addictions are psychological. An addiction feeds off a weakness that you have. One has to identify that weakness and go to its roots. A weakness can turn into a chain reaction.  

The first step to conquer a weakness is to break the chain. Relax your mind and body and think of how a weakness or addiction is coming into your mind. Calm your mind and try to think ennobling thoughts; think about your true nature, which is all consciousness and bliss. Try to think what makes you the most anxious and try to think of the worst possible outcomes of that event. By practicing in this manner, you can clear your mind of all the cobwebs that cause that weakness or addiction.  

The best method to ignore an addiction or weakness is to ignore it by thinking about all the bad things it causes to our life.

Source – notes taken from the editorial of Prabuddha Bharata Magazine June 2018