How Can I Control My Mind?
I get this question more than any other. This is a vast topic which encompasses all of spirituality. For example, we can ask, "what is the mind?" We can ask where is the mind? We can ask who watches the mind, etc. This way we can get hopelessly confused because these are essentially philosophical questions. But with regard to controlling the mind, I state the following.
First, realize that you are watching the mind, and also you feel frustrated because you cannot seem to control the mind, stop the mind, or keep it stopped. The mind just keeps talking and doing the repetitive tasks that it always does whether or not you are not paying attention to it. Since you are watching it, that means you are separate from it, and if you are separate from it, you are not it, you are not the mind.
In the same way, recognize you also watch your body and feel your body. You can feel every cell in your body after practicing and learning how to do it. You can feel every muscle in your body. You can feel every pain in your body. You can feel your bones and your blood circulation. You can listen to your heart beating. You can listen to your stomach gurgle. You can feel pain in your stomach from an upset stomach. You can feel pain from exercise. And a lot of times all these different things that your body feels bother you because they are distracting, irritating, or downright frightening. But you, whatever you are, because you are watching or feeling the body, or trying to understand what your body is trying to tell you, you must realize you are separate from the body, you are not your body, the watcher and feeler of the body is entirely separate from the body. When your body sleeps at night, you are not aware of yourself at all. Whatever you are loses self-awareness during sleep. Your connection with your brain and body has been disrupted and you are no longer receiving any information about them or the world. Yet the mind can continue to affect you with dreams during your sleep, when your sleep is shallow. Yet overall you must remember as the witness of the body, as the watcher of feelings and your physical body as you look at your hand and arm and so forth, you are separate from it. You are not your body.
Realize that you are not your mind, you are not your thoughts, you are not your body, you are not your body’s sensations, you are not your arms or hands, thorax or abdomen, legs or feet. None of this is you, it is just the machinery you inhabit when you are awake. What you are as awareness or consciousness is not physical in any way. This awareness of your body, of your mind, is not physical. It is consciousness, it is awareness, it is spiritual. The best way to think of it is that you are spirit without defining the word spirit. This brings to your mind over and over again, that you are not physical, you are not your body nor your mind. Both are merely your instruments to interact with the world. It is the instrument with which the spirit that you are interacts with the world. You have nothing to do with the world except watch it and respond if you want. The same with your body. You can totally forget it if you want, starve it, and let it die. You have that power potentially over it.
Therefore: you are not your body, you are not your mind. You are spirit alone. You are a spiritual being housed in a physical body, a mental body, an emotional body, and even an energy body. These bodies you can get to know of through practice, through meditation on the various subtleties that you feel and see within your body and your mind through introspective practice of the type taught by Siddharameshwar in his books.
But know that you are not your body. You are not your mind. You are not your emotions. You are not your thoughts. You are in an entirely different "dimension" than these physical things which I call the mundane world. You are entirely beyond the mundane world but you identify with your body, with your mind, with your emotions, with their energies, and firmly anchor yourself as a resident of the mundane world. You can stop that by just as firmly recognizing that you are not your body, you are not your mind, you are not the energies or Shakti that surround you, you are not your emotions, you are not your relations with others, or your relation with the external world. You are not even your internal world of dreams, emotions, or thoughts. You are also the witness of all these things.
So, if all of these things are not you, why get so upset if you cannot control them? Controlling them is entirely different from witnessing them. If your mind wants to run amok, let it but realize you are not the mind. Realize you have very little control over the mind, because you are not the mind, you are spirit. This realization in itself begins a process for the mind begins to rest, to slow down, and eventually to disappear for moments at a time so that you are in the deepest silence you have ever known.
This is the number one way to get to a place where the mind is no longer a problem for you. It can do whatever it wants, but you can dis-identify with it because you know deep down inside of you, that your body and mind, your emotions, have nothing to do with you. You are pure spirit occupying the body and the mind on a temporary basis. This understanding is a very, very powerful way to gain freedom from the -frustration of not controlling your mind or emotions. Let the mind do whatever it wants. Your mind has nothing to do with you. So the real question begins, what is the spirit? Now you begin to investigate yourself on a deeper and more subtle level than the problem you confront when you find out it is very difficult to control the mind. Now you get to go under the mind by exploring spirit who is aware of the mind. Thus begins real spiritual practice and introspection, real self-inquiry.
This is the method most often taught by Bhaktis, Tantrics, and certain kind of yogis. This is also the aim of Gestalt therapy, Reikian therapy, and other kinds of Western therapies, where you focus your attention deeper than the mind or body, such as into emotions, and sensations of energy or Shakti deeper than the body mind. This has two avenues: the avenue of ever deeper introspection into more and more subtle levels of the mind, body, emotions, and Shakti, or were you focus on love and surrender as your principal practice.
Loving another whether human or another species, and loving so deeply that all you can think about is them wanting to be with them, loving them, and giving your all for them becomes the practice of the Bhakti, the lover and surrenderer. All of this love translates into increased ease of perceiving Shakti because Shakti follows attention and awareness. So if you focus on love, the Shakti helps you understand love, and to experience the others' Lifeforce. When you can easily perceive the Lifeforce in another person, love that Lifeforce as well as that person, and surrender to that Lifeforce in another person, you can experience the Lifeforce in yourself. Totally surrendering to the Lifeforce or spirit in another, reveals it to also be your deepest self.
By focusing on love for another, the center of your consciousness, approximately 14 to 18 inches from the center of your brain, drops into your heart. Soon you can begin to feel the Lifeforce stirring your heart area. Constant attention to the Lifeforce in your heart, as well as love in your heart leads to many things, such as awakening to the light of consciousness in yourself so that your entire subjective world becomes filled with white light or translucent light which illuminates everything subjective inside of you. The center of your awareness, the center of gravity of your attention or spirit becomes focused in the area of your spiritual heart inside your body. Later, the center of gravity of your awareness can settle even more deeply into your gut, your hara, the lower part of your abdomen below your belly button, which is essentially the central area where the energy of the Lifeforce accumulates.
By settling the center of your awareness into your heart or into the Hara, you have removed it from the brain area, which is like a radio transmitter that is endlessly generating thoughts. Getting the center of your awareness 18 inches away from the radio transmitter of the mind, means you no longer attend to the mind like you do when your center of consciousness is in the brain. There is a distance between you and the mind. You see it is no longer yourself at all. It is just like a radio or television two rooms away or maybe you can hear the words but you are busy attending to different things, and your mind is no longer a distraction. It is just doing whatever it wants, while you attend to deeper things like Shakti, or love, or feeling or using the power in your gut for some task or another, or just to build power there through accumulation.
That is, you have transcended the mind. The mind no longer bothers you because it is 18 inches away or maybe 30 inches away from your center of gravity of consciousness, awareness, of you. Now your mind can do anything it wants, but you pay it no heed. This the same with your emotions, they do not touch you when you are buried in your gut. They touch you when you are in your heart, and when they touch you as powerfully and gently as they do there, you can work with them in a way that people in the mundane world could never envision. When you can directly work with emotions in your heart, they become a source of endless delight and energy, even the most fearsome emotions of your past.
Method three is realizing that 100% of the world you have been living in is created by the mind. By that I mean you live embedded in society, a common culture, and sub milieux within that society and culture, such as lower middle class, upper class, laborer, priest, Hispanic, Black, white, or caretaker spectrums of society, each of which generates a narrow worldview in you. Only you, and others like you find that specific world that you think you live in as real. There are dozens or hundreds of cultures and the same number of societies spread out through time and space and across the continents of the world. Each culture thought itself real, but in fact is not found real now.
For example, the ancient Egyptians had many gods and thought that these gods control nature, and they worship the gods out of fear and need to control their environment. They believed that when the dead had the brains and internal organs removed and stuck in a clay jar, while the body is wrapped and mummified, it arose again just as it life and needed all the things they had in life to continue life in that second life in that other world. No one believes that now.
Later on, the Romans also had many different gods which they worshiped, often very petty gods who were jealous, angry, and humanoid in every way. The Romans were very greedy and violent, they killed almost without provocation, whether it was an enemy at the borders of their empire, or whether it was gladiators, Christians, or others in an arena for the sport of the general population.
Later on, belief in witches, warlocks, angels and demons controlled everything, and the central emotion in all of these cultures was fear or paranoia of mysterious plagues cutting them down without anyone having a clue as to what caused it. There paranoia focused on a fear of witchcraft, demons and entities there around them everyday life. They had no concept of the television set, radio, robotic surgery, artificial joints replacing bone joints, they had no science worth speaking of, no logic or philosophy or speaking of. Medicine was almost unknown. These people lived in dreadful times, and they thought them the only reality.
However now we know that each language creates a matrix through which we experience the world. We have knowledge of science, cosmology, relativity, quantum mechanics, medicine, Eastern medicine, engineering, metallurgy, and warfare never dreamt of before. We have weapons never dreamt of before. We have political situations
never dreamt of before where unimaginable power can be accumulated into a small group of people, and we have democracies which are a few hundred years old. We now have concepts about the spiritual body, physical body, emotional body, and energetic body, about Shakti as a life force energy spread throughout the universe, we have knowledge of other worlds, other universes and other dimensions. Language, science, religion and philosophy create the world we live in, and I should say the mundane world we live in. The generalized world that all people live within, the Matrix of Neo before he swallowed the red pill, where we do not perceive ourselves as we really are, we do not perceive the world as it really is, that we perceive in terms of concepts of what can be done in it, or accomplished in it at any given time.
Thus we have to learn that anything the mind speaks of, any concept, any idea, any philosophy, any religion, any spirituality or spiritual concepts have no intrinsic reality, have reality only within the matrix of our societies and cultures. There is no Final Truth, there are only little truths that depend upon the network of thought that is the Matrix.
Languages ARE maps of our world, nets of thought that create imaginary worlds that we live it.
This way is very, very difficult to follow, to see that nothing the mind creates is real, but is like a map of the real. The Matrix is a map of the real. If we can step out of the Matrix by realizing the mind creates alternative worlds that are not real, that are mental only, and which really do not represent the real world we live in, then we can live in a world of freedom and constant change with no limits or forms that are lasting. Then we can dwell in constant changing energies, emotions, Shakti, and total comfort without giving a thought to anything anymore because we have stepped out of all philosophies and all social and cultural systems. We are free. This is getting close to true enlightenment where we are free of all ideas, all customs, all rules, all societies where we can live in peace away from civilizations, or within civilizations by appearing to obey the rules of those civilizations which we do for the sake of peace. Thus we avoid becoming a raised nail to be pounded down by society or our culture. We live as if we believed in the Matrix without actually being a denizen of the Matrix, or what I call the mundane world. We totally step out of the mundane world into the world of spirit and I cannot explain to any of you how this feels because there are no words for it in the languages of the Matrix. The mundane world only has Matrix-style words that do not begin to convey the ecstasy of living in bliss, living in the hand of God, knowing God from within, and knowing God as one's own Self, because both are aspects of the Lifeforce. The human and all other sentient beings are individual instantiations or incarnations of the Lifeforce into the physical world, while God is like the dynamic essence of life itself, and is everywhere that life is. God and you are one and no one within the Matrix can understand that. Mundane-world-words do not touch where you are as a spiritual being, as a God-realizer. And yes, this is the final way of escaping the tyranny of mind by realizing that no word has any reality at all, and like the Zen master confronted by a student who starts talking about reality or enlightenment, the Zen master merely gives him cup of tea, or says do not listen to your mind, whatever it says is a trap that keeps you in the mundane world and the tyranny of belief, paranoia, anger, and confusion.
Of course there are very many spiritual seekers that get very frightened by the prospect of losing their minds. They feel fear of losing control, of being susceptible to all kinds of dangers because they do not have a mind to protect them. But this is just another form of paranoia because they are not losing their minds, they are losing the prison of being dominated by mind. They think mind is their protector, but really it is a prison keeping them in a known mundane world where the dangers are well known and controllable. They have not grasp of the freedom they would feel if mind were not immediately present and in charge.