We should accept that there is no short cut to Mind control. Those who are in a hurry must understand that the Mind is a delicate instrument and should be handled carefully. It is a personal task and no one else can do it for us and we need great patience to do it. Swami Vivekananda has said that “The mind has to be gradually and systematically brought under control”.
Below are some of the Do’s and Dont’s that we need to practice in our daily life. It might look like a big task. However, if we are committed to a better life and have the will to pay any price, then we will get the strength to cross any hurdles. Don’t look at the below steps as challenges, but few changes to be made to live a better life. We make changes in our dietary intake after a warning from the doctor. Similarly, it is time to make internal changes to control the mind.
1. Do not have strong likes or dislikes, attachments and aversions. We think that having likes or dislikes defines us. It represents our individuality. However, our likes or dislikes are the creation of our mind. They are more like compulsions and not choices. The person having strong likes or attachments identifies himself more with the mind. As an exercise please list down all the likes, dislikes, attachment, and aversions. Address those in the list one by one and try to have a neutral response towards it. For, e.g. someone might have strong like towards the sweet. Observe your mind as a third person while you have the compulsion to eat sweets. See what all thoughts are coming in your mind and try to replace them. Making them neutral towards the sweet. Neither like nor dislike. Over a period of time, you will be able to control your compulsion.
2. Live a moral life. Morality has been preached by spirituality from ages. Moral life makes the mind pure and it is easy to control the pure mind. Imagine a mind having all the impure thoughts vs having only pure thoughts. Which one feels better? The impure mind may give you pleasure at the start, but later on, it is full of guilt.
3. Do not deliberately harm others. The world will be a better place to live when all of us would live with the feeling of brotherhood towards all human beings. Thoughts of harming others make us restless. We are continuously living in negative thoughts of harming others and we all know that mind with negative thoughts is not easy to control.
4. Do not indulge in any intoxicants. If you have ever had intoxicants, then you might have experienced chaos. Even though it’s a pleasure to mind, it is very harmful to the body and to the people around us. We are not able to live a regulated and peaceful life. If we don’t take control of indulgence in intoxicants, then the mind will become habitual of it. The person having a higher goal of controlling the mind will have to let go of momentary pleasures that damage the body and mind.
5. Live a balanced life. Have everything in the right proportion in terms of drink, food, talk, work or sleep. A disciplined life leads to a disciplined mind. Regulated life is much better than chaos.
6. Do not get involved in vain controversies and do not get inquisitive about other’s affairs. This kind of involvement gives mind topics to indulge upon and they do not yield any benefits. On the other hand, it only harms relationships.
7. Do not torture your bodies unnecessarily and do not spend your energy on useless pursuits. We have to be focused upon one goal at a time and that is the secret of success. We will need strong will power to concentrate and work on one goal and ignore anything that does not benefit it. A healthy body results in a healthy mind.
8. Do not be jealous of others’ prosperity. Thoughts of jealousy throw our minds into the whirlpool of negative emotions. We start hating what we have and spoil the relationship with the person having more wealth than us.
9. Do not live with the feeling of guilt all the time. Make your will power strong to not repeat the same sin. It is quite necessary to get rid of all kinds of guilts. This does not mean that you continue to repeat the same sins. Continuously dwelling on past mistakes is not helpful on the journey of mind control. You can ask for forgiveness for your past mistake and be firm that you will not repeat it.
10. Have faith in yourself, and in God. Deliberate, patient, intelligent, and systematic hard work will pay. Swami Vivekanand has said that today’s atheist is the one who does not have faith in his own self. If we don’t have faith in our self, then how can we have faith in God.
Mind control cannot be achieved overnight. Many Indian sages spent their lifetime in achieving this goal. It takes lots of patients and hard work. However, if we have faith in our self and faith in God, then we will achieve our goal.