I am at the ashram now. It is beautifully set in the mountains with a river flowing by; a river that is wide and shoal. While it is freely expressing itself through its charted course, its shallowness reminds me of the state of the person who has spread himself too thin in material pursuits. Such spread that has come at the expense of his peace and so thin that he has lost the depth of his individuality.

A reader, someone whose selfless contribution and involvement in the ashram project cannot be overstated, posted the following question. Many have asked a similar question using different verbiage. See below:

Prabhu, can you give us further guidance on the art of controlling the mind and thoughts? They are like boomerangs, once thrown away, come back. And if we try and control them many more come in and have the similar effect creating unrest and frustration. As per your statement this is the most difficult task, but possible, and once controlled it is blissful.

The act of controlling the mind is concentration (dharana). The art of maintaining such control is meditation (dhyana). Achieving oneness with the mind is samadhi. Control of the mind automatically checks all thought flow and vice versa; for, the mind and thoughts are inseparable. These are only indicative definitions. I will be covering this subject (meditation) in great detail in the not-so-distant future.

Achieving quietude of the mind requires a strenuous and earnest effort initially. To improve the quality of your meditation, during your sessions, each time you find your mind adrift, you must bring it back to the point, or thought, of meditation. That must be done gently without excessive exertion. An unduly sustained and forced effort to control the mind will make it restless.

Rather than holding a long session of meditation where you experience great tiredness and a lapse in concentration, it is much better to hold multiple short crisp sessions instead. Sharp focus must be maintained and the duration of sessions should be increased steadily. Please bear with me for the next little while. It is my priority to document my framework of meditation for seekers. I will elaborate on the path, prerequisites, practices, milestones, hurdles, and results in that work. Till then, know this much: thoughts are the product of a conditioned mind. The natural state of the mind is pure bliss, almost mindless, in fact.

 

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Do not give up until you get to the end. If you stay the course, Providence will pleasantly surprise you. How? Meditate to know!

Peace.
Swami