How To Control The Mind?
Summary: This mental diarrhea of uncontrolled thought process cannot be addressed by such crazy ideas and philosophies as 'sit with closed eyes and try not to think of anything'. Just try for yourself - the harder you try to control your mind, the more active your mind becomes. Sadhguru tells how human 'mind' - instead of becoming a cherished faculty has become a source of misery for most simply because there is no effort to understand its true nature.
article originally published on isha.sadhguru.org
How to stop overthinking
Sadhguru: The moment you get identified with something other than what you really are, the activity of the mind begins. You cannot stop it. Have you tried? You entertain yourself and just pass life. Do not entertain yourself. Just sit down for 24 hours and try very hard to stop the mind. You will see where it will take you. In three days you will be in madness. This is like you ate bad food, and now there is gas. It will not help if you try to hold it. You should just stop eating bad food.
You have wrong identifications and once the wrong identifications happen, the activity of the mind goes on nonstop. You cannot stop it, no matter what you do. It is just that if it is within a certain limit, you think it is normal. It is not normal. You are in socially accepted levels of madness. Everyone is the same way, so you think it is okay. But you do not know the joy of simply sitting here without a single thought on your mind. If I close myself up for four-five days, those four-five days I do not have a single thought. I do not read anything or even look out of the window. I simply sit without a single thought.
Suppose you started looking at a glorious sunrise, your thought disappeared for some time because something much bigger was happening. Or you got involved with something that you considered as important, at that time the thought disappeared for some time. Those have been the most beautiful moments of your life.
The source of life which is functioning within you is a far bigger phenomenon than the thought process.
If you get in touch with something bigger, the smaller things naturally evaporate. The source of life which is functioning within you is a far bigger phenomenon than the thought process. Because you never came in touch with that, this thought has become so important. Or in other words, if your thought is very important, it means that somewhere in your distorted perception, the creator’s creation is not important. Your own creation has become very important. You do not pay attention to the creator within, nor his creation, but you are busy with your own creation. Isn’t this the worst sacrilege towards the creator? Not even for a moment has your attention shifted to the source of life within you. If you know the blissfulness of just being able to simply sit here, not thinking or doing anything, just being life, then life would be very different.
Getting in Touch with the Source of Creation
When it comes to the outside world, different human beings are capable in different ways. But when it comes to the interiority, all of us are equally capable. It has not happened because you have never paid attention, not because it is difficult or unapproachable or because you are unqualified. Every human being is equally qualified for inner nature. For external work, whether you want to build a building or cook a meal, or do something else, each one of us is differently capable. But when it comes to inner realities, all of us are equally capable. It has happened to one and not happened to the other simply because one has not paid attention, that is all.
What is within you, no one can deny you except yourself.
People have come to these conclusions that spiritual process is very difficult because they keep doing the wrong things. With the outside world, you have realized that unless you do the right thing it will not work. The same is true with the inside. On a certain day, a tourist came to a village close by and asked, “How far is Isha Yoga Center?”
The local village boy said, “It is 24,996 miles.”
He said, “What! That far?”
The boy said, “Yes, the way you are going. If you turn around, it is just four miles.”
You are looking in one direction and trying to be spiritual – now it is a very long way. You have to go across the universe and come back. If you just turn around, it is right here because what you are looking for is within you, not outside of you. What is within you, no one can deny you except yourself. Can anyone deny you entry to your own interiority? If it is not happening, you must understand that you have not created the necessary willingness. There is no other reason.
Are You Out of Your Mind?
Right now, do not try to suppress the thought. The biggest mistake has been that people have told you, “Control your mind.” Once you try to control your mind, you are finished! Let us say that right now you are practicing Shambhavi Mahamudra. If you do the process, it will create a certain distance between you and the body and between you and the mind. You do Shambhavi and simply sit – your body is here, your mind is out there and what you see as “myself” is somewhere else. Once this distinction arises, now there is no struggle with the mind.
If someone tells you, “You are out of your mind,” do not you feel insulted. It is the greatest compliment that they can give you.
Once you are out of the mind, there is no problem. If someone tells you, “You are out of your mind,” do not you feel insulted. It is the greatest compliment that they can give you. They are telling you, “You are a Buddha.” Buddha means he is out of his mind. People think being out of mind is madness. It is not madness. Madness is always of the mind. If you are out of your mind, you will be one hundred percent sane. That is the end of madness. Now you see life just the way it is.
Once you see life the way it is, not the way your mind is reflecting it, then you will see everything is just so small. What your mind can do, what the world can do, is so petty that you can just play with it to the extent that you wish. If you do not wish to, you can just withdraw. Both are conscious. There is no more compulsiveness in you. The moment you start witnessing the very source of creation, all compulsiveness in you is gone, now everything is by choice and life becomes beautiful.
Life becomes beautiful not because of what is happening but because you are choosing to do it. Nothing is beautiful or ugly. If you choose to do it and you involve yourself, everything is beautiful. If it is imposed upon you or it is compulsive, then everything is terrible. The same goes for mental activity. If this was conscious, you could have played with the mind which is quite a wonderful instrument, but because it is compulsive, it has become stressful.