The concept of mind control has been on my mind for some time recently, the irony of this notwithstanding. And by mind control, I do not mean sinister forces controlling the minds of the masses in order to exercise absolute control. I mean an individual human being exercising some control over his own, and nobody else’s, mind.
A yoga teacher recently remarked in class that the mind makes a greedy master, but a wonderful servant. I couldn’t agree more, but the challenge for myself, and I suspect every other human being who desires this, is to gain some measure of control over our own mind, over our own thoughts. This is a work in progress for me, so the ideas I suggest should be taken in that context. But here are some things I have found helpful:
1. Shut your mouth. This is a journey that you are on to advance your own personal consciousness and well being. There is no need to advertise this to anyone, and in fact, talking about this removes the energy from just doing, and opens you up to the pressure of others’ opinions. So, keep it to yourself.
2. Appreciate the impact on others. While this should be a sole journey, do not underestimate the effect you have on everyone you meet. You will become a role model of the highest order- I’m not kidding about this, either.
3. Become less reactive. As you begin to see how the mind and your thoughts repeatedly sabotage you, you can just watch those thoughts, instead of taking action based upon them. This is easier said than done, because our conditioned behavior encourages attachment to everything, including our thoughts. It is a process to become less reactive, and will take as long or as short a time as you deem necessary.
4. Actively reprogram your thoughts. This needs to be done concurrently with becoming less reactive, and the two naturally work together. One suggestion is to talk to yourself two-three times per day in the mirror for a few moments: incorporate all the best things you can possibly imagine about yourself.
5. Begin to see you controlling your thoughts, not the other way around. We are often at the mercy of so many circling thoughts, most of which are negative or fear based. See your mind as a separate entity that is not out of control, visualize your mind tied up somewhere, like a horse to a hitching post.
6. Begin to see you controlling your life, and not at the mercy of random events. They say that reality is nothing more than a projection of your own thoughts. If this is true, if you can control your thoughts, you can control your life.
7. Detach, detach, and then detach some more. The notion of detachment can be a huge aid in controlling the mind and your thoughts. As in every life situation, genuine detachment from the results contributes to real freedom in every moment. It is just as true in this process. Don’t beat yourself up about your progress, or any perceived failure. Approach this goal sincerely with absolutely no expectations.
8. Be grateful. Embarking on this process to gain some control over your mind and thoughts is a true privilege. Be grateful that you can even contemplate this.
9. Don’t forget the love. As in every endeavor you undertake, putting love in the equation makes all the difference. Make sure that you include it here.
10. It’s no big deal. While this process can indeed be life changing, it’s best to think of it as “no big deal.” This eliminates unnecessary pressure, and also recognizes that it really is in the grand scheme of things “no big deal.”