Taming the mind

A teacher of mine once said that 95% of our fears are imaginary.

The imagination and our memories play a very big part in the way the mind behaves.
Imagine you are walking across a dark room. There is a rope on the floor up ahead. Instead of seeing a rope, you imagine it is a snake.

Thoughts and memories happen rapidly and constantly other than the brief time spent in very deep sleep and in the very deep state of meditation.

Think about food. Good food you will remember for a long time. Exceptional food you will remember for a very long time. This is through the attention placed on the action and the information burned into our memory. Attention and memory are interrelated. When the image of the object doesn’t slip away from your mind this is memory. Memory is one of the Vrittis or mind waves. Everything we know of ourselves are memories. These are Samskaras. Freedom is having all of the memories and knowing you are none of them.

Because we are ignorant, it doesn’t help us to loose our memories. Therefore we must learn to restrain the Vrittis.

The momentum of practice is repeated and repeated and repeated even more. Cultivating Sattva—purity, wholesomeness, and virtue—creates clarity of perception. This must be done repeatedly. A change of character occurs only through formation of new habits. Change takes place by gradually shifting patterns.

Repetition is key. A change of character occurs only through formation of new habits. Abhyasa is the steady practice. It cuts the new spiritual path for the mind to move on.

The second way is through Vairagya or non-attachment, or elimination of emotional reactions to situations and individuals.

The more selfless we can be—the more unattached we are.

Ignoring is aware but not attached.

Denial is not wanting to be aware of the attachments and desires.

Desires and attachments are not you! Be fully aware of them and notice that you are the one being aware of them and that you are not them. In the case of emotions this would be: I am not the emotion.

Vrittis—the mind waves may arise. The only way out is discriminative knowledge based on clear thinking.

There is no other way to liberation other than clear thinking. This is the only way to disentangle from the mind. Use Vivika, which is discrimination.

Steadiness of the mind is like a flame in a windless place. Practice must be for a long period of time, steadily, and with devotion.

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