Hello everyone ! Have a great day 🙋🏻
Our mind is illusional. Whatever, we think and perceive is our own derived illusion. It’s our biggest friend and at the same time can be our biggest enemy. Therefore, a common quote says ” You may die a hundred deaths without a break in the mental turmoil “ Our mind makes up everything that happens in our life – good or bad, big or small, ugly or beauty, sad or happy, success or failure, it ‘s all within this thing, called mind. So, how do I control this thing ‘mind’ and remain focus on my goal and life purpose?
Understanding the mind, and its content is very important and fundamental. What makes our thought world? How do thoughts are generated? We build up mental impressions through the different inlets of this outer world. The inlets can be :
*Five senses: sight, hear, smell, touch, taste
*Memory: That has been built up over the years of this outside world experience, right from the day we were born.
*Activity: That we perform , habituated and do throughout the day.
We create thought by an idea backed with emotion. Through different inlets, we build up thoughts as our mental content every day. We generate, perceive, analyse, process and ruminate our entire thought world. So, we keep doing the same mental activity of thinking, analysing, ruminating every day. The thinking pattern doesn’t change. So, does our behaviour and habits. It is uninterrupted, a never-ending process which we may not be even aware.
According to Yoga Psychology ( Yoga Sutras), our thought world mainly depends on mental fluctuation (Vritti) and thoughts (prataya). The mental impulses (vritti) are created through the different inlets like the senses, memory, activity which inturn create mental impressions generating thoughts (prataya). This is the reason, when we are in a positive , vibrant environment, surrounded by positive people, we generate positive, beautiful, creative thoughts. But, when we surround ourselves with negativity, we generate negative thoughts of guilt, anger, pain, hurt, jealousy and so on.
Normally, what happens, when we centred our mind for a particular activity, at the office or home. There are endless distractions. Okay, we try to control the distraction or cut down to some extent, but still mental fluctuations and wondering thoughts continue to distract us. This is because the memory continues to generate unstable thoughts in an unstable mind.
Therefore to manage our mind, we need to control our mental fluctuation and thoughts. The only way to control them is through a concentrated mind. A concentrated mind can be achieved through the power of attention. The power of attention is our very own property (which arises from self) which we can achieve by practising and training our mind. It is a steady power of awareness which is created at our own will. It is the only capability that we can learn to develop for mind control. Whereas, the mental fluctuations (impression) and thoughts are greatly influenced by our outer world, the external distractions. They are not completely within our control.
The different states of mind depending on the power of attention can be defined as
*Ordinary mind: When both the mental fluctuations (vritti) and thoughts (prataya) are unstable. The mind is rather restless distracted, jumping from one thought to another.
*Focused mind: When there is less mental fluctuation (stable vritti) but thoughts are still wobbly (unstable prataya). This is the learning mind.
*Concentrated mind: When both the mental fluctuation (vritti) and thoughts (prataya) are on the same line, stable enough. This is the highest level of attentive mind.
*Meditative mind: When the vritti and prataya are concentrated at the same point, on a similar goal. That is the mind is concentrated at one point say, your attention is entirely on your breath or a point of focus. That is when both mental fluctuation and thought are at the same point. This is the highest level of concentration.
The power of attention is similar to a focused beam of light where all your energies are focused. With this power of attention, you can learn, achieve, complete tasks and attain success in whichever areas of life you want to. That is the reason, we should always learn to perform an activity or task one at a time. So, we give our full power of attention. Handling multiple tasks all at a time can be like a scattered beam where all your energies are distributed. You can be able to do some while some are left undone. Your mind will keep fluctuating and your attention span will be variable and unstable.
So, how do I learn to achieve a concentrated mind with the ultimate power of attention? How do I control my mind, my inner thought world, daily? How do I focus my mind on one activity at a time? How do I take charge of myself? This is a self-learning task, an ongoing process. Two comprehensive ways:
1. To achieve the power of attention, two important things matter the most :
Awareness: Being consciously aware all the time. Feeding our thought world and thought process with positive, constructive and creative thoughts.
Will: Self-training and developing a restrained impulse towards worthy goals, purposeful life.
2.Control of thoughts:
*Exposure to right kind of thoughts: Feeding the mind everyday with right kind of thoughts. Reading good books, being in a positive, good company, surrounded by positive vibrations.
*Right behaviour: Good conduct, right behaviour pattern influence thoughts and emotions. That means reframing our cognitive abilities. Correcting our behaviour patterns as on when required.
*Right lifestyle and habits: Maintaining a regulated lifestyle and habits will greatly influence our mind. You cannot have a stable mind with an unstable lifestyle.
*Purposeful life: Working towards a specific goal, understanding and working towards a meaningful life. Developing a stable mind through meditation and prayers. This cannot be achieved overnight. It is an ongoing, self-learning process. You and I have to keep working on it daily.
Thanks for reading.
Blessings and much love to all 💐
References: Science of Focus by Pravrajika Divyanandaprana (Vivekavani)