Manage Your Mind

Lotus1. Be in the present: If you take care of the present, if what you do today is good, then you will just move toward your ultimate realization.  That is the purpose. Other things, worries, this that, “What will happen?”, “Where do I live?”, “What do I eat?”, “Who am I with?”, all these things are not so important.

2. Keep correct knowledge only in the mind: Correct knowledge will calm the thought waves down.  This correct knowledge, that all will merge as one, will keep you peaceful.  Incorrect knowledge such as, “I want to go be with my friends on the beach in Florida.”, or “Maybe I should go to Hawaii.”, all of this is incorrect knowledge and will create a lot of waves in the mind.  Thoughts like, “What is the difference of Hawaii or Florida?”, “What’s the difference between this friend or that friend?”, will create a lot of waves in your mind and you won’t go anywhere.

3. Do self study and listen to scriptures: Correct knowledge is not that easy.  That is why you have to study and listen to the scriptures so that it is imprinted in the mind that such thoughts actually are good and are possible.  Nourish yourself with it and you will be fine.

4. Practice of  non-attachment. This is the practice of non identification with the thoughts waves, which means not being distracted.

5. Manage your mind. Concentrate. Don’t let it loose.The mind is very fast.  Every thought is a lot of energy and very, very fast. So abhyasa, constant practice of restraining of the thought waves is needed.  Then you don’t have much stuff floating around.   What if and what if and I’m afraid of this and I fantasize about that, etc.  You have too much energy in your mind, junk, garbage, erroneous understanding!  Focus.  Learn how to transform all this material that you think is free.  It’s not free, it’s harmful material.  The energy in your mind that is not used or channeled properly is energy that pulls you down.  That is why you cannot go into the concentration and meditation state.  So you need to create space by reducing the erroneous understanding, the memory, the sleep, and the verbal delusion and by  increasing the correct understanding. Then you have a chance to clear your mind.

6. Use up the energy of the mind through Karma Yoga. If you can’t meditate, then do Karma Yoga with the tremendous energy that you have.  Usually we say we don’t have time to do it but it’s just that the mind is so used to being in the dull state and it enjoys the jumping state.  The wrong habit is the mind doesn’t enjoy the concentrated state, specially it doesn’t like something selfless and detached.  That is why focusing on Karma Yoga (selfless work) is very helpful to calm the mind down.

by Swami Sitaramananda of Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm in Grass Valley, CA

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