the whole art of meditation lies in witnessing the mind. you witness every thought which comes to your mind without getting identified with it. mind is a momentum of thoughts which is going on inside you for thousands of life times. if you want to slow down the mind then you have to understand its mechanism. so that you stop feeding the mind by getting identified with your thoughts and emotions.
all said, this is not easy. because mind is very clever and cunning. its tries every possible trick to stop you from meditation. many times it must have happened with you that you have sat for meditation and then suddenly you remember some important task which needs to be done.
when you watch all these tricks which mind plays to distract you from meditation then you come to know more about the mechanism of mind. like how it tries to fool you in thousand and one ways. this understanding the mechanism of mind is very important if you want to go deep in meditation.
10 characteristics of mind:
1. mind does not love meditation
meditation is like death for mind. the more you become strong in meditation, lesser will be the hold of mind on you. so it will give you all sort of excuses and rationalization, so that you cannot meditate. watch it and don’t be fooled by mind. its very important to be regular in meditation.
2. mind is desire
mind is always hungry. nothing can satisfy it. because it never stays in the present moment. it is always in the past or in the future. so don’t make the mistake of fulfilling the desire of the mind. because by the time you fulfill one desire, mind has already moved to future and has created a new desire. the desire which you have fulfilled with so much effort has no meaning for mind now, as it has moved to the future. thats how life keeps on slipping from your hand as mind keeps on creating new desires in your mind and you keep on chasing them. best way is to witness the desires and transform the energy.
3. mind loves comparison
mind loves comparisons. this is one of its favorite past time. have you observed that you feel more jealous when someone close to you becomes rich or famous than someone whom you don’t know. this is because it breaks the comfort level of mind. it gives it a shock. how come the person who has studied with you or who was your colleague in office has become millionaire and you are still struggling to earn your daily bread. at the same time, you are never so much hurt with the success of bill gates or mark zuckerberg. this is because you are not related with them. mind loves to maintain the status quo in everyday life.
but remember, whenever you compare yourself with others then you lose your individuality. you become a thing which can be compared. we all are unique and special beings. don’t compare with anyone as everybody situation or case is different. just watch the thought when mind is comparing you with any one.
4. mind produces guilt feeling in you
guilt is something which kills your soul. it makes you handicapped from within. it is one of the favorite way of mind to cripple you from within. a guilty person cannot love himself or others, because he is not able to forgive himself. if you want to live life in true sense, then never be guilty. instead of feeling guilty try to transform yourself.
watch the thought of guilt feeling whenever it haunts you. don’t identify with it. just watch it without judging it. also remember to feel guilty you have to move into the past. if you are living in present moment then where is the guilt feeling?
5. mind is doubt
mind cannot be sure about anything. it will always be in double mind. actually i should use the word ‘multiple mind’. mind is a big confusion. because it is just collection of all the experiences which you had in many life times. mind is not information but a ‘big data’. you need conscious person (enlightened soul) to convert this data into information. only a buddha knows how to use the mind well.
for normal person, mind can only create doubt and confusion. so whenever you need clarity then don’t seek the help of your mind. instead watch the mind. let it slow down and then you will have clarity over the situation. its also good to listen to your inner voice. let your gut feeling guide you at times. you need a distance from the problem to find the solution. when you use your mind to find the solution then you are totally identified and thus cannot have the clarity about the issue. watch the issue from a distance as if the problem belongs to someone else.
when some mathematical or logical calculation is needed then its perfectly alright to use the mind. because mind is like a computer who can do these things correctly. so use mind where it can actually help you and don’t listen to it where its not needed. the line which defines when to use mind and when not to, is very thin and you might make few mistakes to learn the distinction.
6. mind loves rationalizing
mind can rationalize anything. it is very good in it. so it can rationalize all your attempts of not doing meditation practice regularly. it can give you many excuses for postponing meditation session. beware of all this and just witness all the excuses of mind. witnessing is the key thing in meditation. also be a witness of mind when it gives rationalization to postpone doing something good. postpone the bad things in your life and good things you should do it immediately.
7. mind loves thinking or contemplation
mind can never come to a conclusion about any topic. try it yourself. whenever you need decision then mind can think for hours and still you will not come to a conclusion. you can spend hours in thinking and thinking. it does not help. thats why philosophy is a complete waste. be a meditator rather than a thinker or philosopher. because both thinker and philosopher are dealing with mind. whereas meditator is going beyond the mind by becoming more conscious. instead of wasting energy in thinking, do something creative, positive or constructive. be a witness of your mind and its thought process. let no thought pass by without being watched by you.
if you get involve in the thinking process then one thought will lead to another and you will start giving energy to the momentum of thoughts. so encourage witnessing in your life rather than thinking.
8. mind is ambition or ego
mind is always ambitious. although the object of ambition can change. e.g. if a materialistic person enters in spiritual world then the mind can become ambitious for gurudom, followers or siddhis (occult powers). in spiritual path never be ambitious. don’t feed your ego with any thing. instead watch the games of mind. be a passive watcher. see how it rationalizes everything to achieve its goal. never be ambitious on the path of meditation. ambition only feed the ego.
9. mind is past or future
as mentioned before also, mind is either living in the past or in the future. mind is never present in the current moment. so whenever you see your attention has moved into past or future then bring it back to present moment. don’t even feel guilty that mind has fooled you again. even the guilt feeling is a thought. be a witness to that thought also. try to live more and more in the present moment and soon you will see your mind is slowing down and you are become more conscious and aware.
10. mind loves changes
mind gets bored with any experience after some time. because it likes changes or something new in life. thats why so many TV channels or different forms of entertainment are not able to fulfill the demand for entertainment. live a life of meditation and witness every tantrum of mind. don’t fulfill its demand of constant change as nothing can make it satisfy. if you feel boredom during meditation then its alright. don’t make a issue out of it and instead be a witness to the boredom also. be a watcher to everything. to every thought or emotion which mind brings in your consciousness.
as you witness the tricks of mind, its hold on you will decrease and you will become more intelligent. you will become more logical, more sharp, more creative and more aware. only way to go beyond mind is to understand its mechanism by watching it passively.