A most common question comes to me in my travels. It came just yesterday once again. “What to do with the mind?” Actually, it came as two questions: “How to control it?” For those who understand its wild side through watching it perform, it can be most entertaining. It jumps around from room to room, country to country and then country to country. Or perhaps another way to describe it is to consider it like a monkey in a tree sweeping and leaping from limb to limb and acting in utter goofiness.
As I sit by a desk in a chair, my mind springs from office wall to an open road or trail. “That’s where I wanna be now,” are my thoughts. And yet I know that through the avenue of discipline I must take that crazy mind and drag it back to the office for administrative obligations. The mind must be teamed up with intelligence.
To answer the question(s) of the person who so much yearns for concentration, focus, I refered to the Gita wherein the speaker, Krishna, spoke of the mind as cancalam – fickle, restless. The mind needs some space but limit it. The mind needs a leash but make it a short one. It’s a rascal and is best in a cage where it’s safe. “Wherever it wanders, bring it back under the control of the self,” says Krishna. You can’t change its nature but you can influence it. Lock it in a room, in a spiritual environment. it may gravitate to the gutter. When it does go there, grab it and wash away the filth. Harness it. Calm it down. Immerse it in love, in Krishna. Let it be entertained by Him.