An Insight into the Mind

It is often a complaint during practice that the mind gets carried away and it is difficult to focus on the task at hand. The Hatha Yoga Pradipika writes, “We have to start somewhere [in regards to taming the mind] so it is better not to concern yourself with the mental activities; just do your practices and let the mind do what it likes. If you do not try to constantly block and suppress the mind, it will automatically become obedient and concentrated.”

The more we try to control our minds the more tense we become, by actively focusing on changing the patterns of the mind we unintentionally add to the thing we are hoping to reduce. It is far easier to quiet the mind through focus on the body. For example, while in meditation our attention is on our soft inhalations and exhalations, the rise and fall of our bodies. When thoughts arise we place them gently into bubbles and guide those bubbles out of our mind. We do not forcibly try to remove the thoughts for that will only create more thoughts and more tension. Do not allow the thinking mind to distract your self from having an experience.

During yoga practice we strive for presence in our poses as well as in-between our poses. However, we are often drawn away from those moments by our thoughts and this can frustrate us. Today while practicing do not feel angered by your thoughts but rather excuse your mind from them and continue to practice. Have compassion for your thinking mind and soon it will do as you like.

Namaste.

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