Mind Your Own Mind…
Mastery over the situations in life, without a mastery over the mind, would be a vain dream. Since it is through the mind that we perceive the world and gain our experiences, ‘as our mind so is our world’. He who is a master of his mind, is a master of the world. To control and develop the mind and bring it within our hold is the secret of all personality development.
A monk decides to meditate alone, away from his monastery. He takes his boat out to the middle of the lake, moors it there, closes his eyes and begins his meditation. After a few hours of undisturbed silence, he suddenly feels the bump of another boat colliding with his own. With his eyes still closed, he senses his anger rising, and by the time he opens his eyes, he is ready to scream at the boatman who dared disturb his meditation. But when he opens his eyes, he sees it’s an empty boat that had probably got untethered and floated to the middle of the lake.
At that moment, the monk achieves self-realization, and understands that the anger is within him; it merely needs the bump of an external object to provoke it out of him. From then on, whenever he comes across someone who irritates him or provokes him to anger, he reminds himself, “The other person is merely an empty boat. The anger is within me.”
More often than not, we allow outside circumstances to dictate our frame of mind, when the fact is that the road to happiness and contentment lies within us…
“It is our own mental attitude which makes the world what it is for us. Our thoughts make things beautiful; our thoughts make things ugly.” — Swami Vivekananda
We must always remember things we can’t control:
a) Other people’s feelings
b) Other people’s words
c) Other people’s behavior
“Do not let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace.” — Dalai Lama
Things we can control:
a) Our feelings
b) Our words and opinions
c) Our actions
d) Our work ethic
e) Who we spend time with
f) What media we consume
“May I ever practice self-control,
May I learn to be patient and kind;
May I meet my problems with wisdom;
If I do, I will have peace of mind.
“May I keep my temper every day;
May I be honest and fair and brave;
May calmness cover me, as a cloak,
That my own self-respect I may save.
“When I give way to anger and fear,
And when to passions I am a slave,
I am harming my body and soul
That my God, in His love, to me gave.”
— Gertrude Tooley Buckingham, “When I Am Master of My Soul” (1940s)
This list might be hard to implement, but it’s certainly worth trying…maybe reading it once every few days, if not everyday, might go a long way in conditioning our thought process the right way…
“Mind alone is the cause of bondage and liberation for human beings.” — Amritabindu Upanishad