Controlling the Mind

Everybody says, ‘Control yourself. Control the mind. People have been trying to do this for thousands of years. 

Five thousand years ago Arjuna asked Krishna this question.

He said, ‘This mind is just like air. If you try and catch in your hand, nothing happens. The fist just closes on empty space. How to control something that I can’t even catch hold of?’

Krishna answered, ‘By abhyasa, which means spiritual practice, and by vairogya, which means detachment.’

If you have no attachment to the objects that appear in your mind, then you have learned to control the mind in the natural way.

And what is abhyasa? The mind is always running away to experiences of the past. That is the nature of the mind. The inner dialogue is just a continuous stream of past ideas, thoughts and desires which keep your attention in the past, not the present. Everyone in this world is unhappy because he is always replaying the past inside his head and suffering as a consequence.

Krishna wanted Arjuna to be happy, to be free of the past, so he told him, ‘Wherever the mind goes, bring it back and establish it in Me.’ This is his definition of abhyasa, and it is a very good one Whenever the mind strays, and whenever you become aware that it has strayed, bring it back to the Self; the mind rises from the Self. Just put it back there every time you find that it has strayed somewhere else. That’s all you need to do, Sooner or later the mind will learn to stay in the Self and not cause trouble for itself by wandering around, looking for past attachments to indulge in

I say to people, ‘Sit quietly and see where the mind is going.’ If you observe it, you will see that it is always running off to enjoy or suffer experiences that belong to the past. So whenever you catch it doing this, bring it back to the present moment. In that present moment there are no dialogues going on, In this present moment there is nothing to control or repress, 

Your mind is just a thief. It is stealing your happiness by making you run after things and ideas that make you suffer all the time. Bring it back to the present each and every time you find that it is wandering somewhere else. This thief in your head loots your property, your happiness, every waking moment. And you allow him. You make friends with him and let him do what he wants. Why should you fondle and be friends with a snake that is going to bite you and make you suffer. Show your mind the way home and don’t let it make you suffer all the time.