The Danger of a Restless Mind
“The Mind Loves the Places it Frequents Most”
My beloved Guru, Sadguru Kedarji, has uttered this teaching/warning many times in public programs and to me personally during Darshan. Even though I have heard this warning dozensof times in my years at the Bhakta School, I forget it. I fall down the rabbithole of the restless mind, following thought tangents, and become distractedfrom being present in the moment where I can experience my true nature andpeace.
Why? Because the mind loves the places it frequents the mostand clearly my mind loves to be restless and distracted. This is so because I am attached to lovingworldly ideals, (even the ones I think are spiritual- yes- that’s still attachment),attached to people, places and things - attached in such a way that I allow themind to create more thoughts around an object. It is a never - ending cycle asthese thoughts breed feelings and feelings create understandings which createmore thought. I can never escape this cycle once the thought breeds morethought.
Why should we be concerned with the places the mindwanders to and comes to rest in?
Because the restless mind creates a downward spiral ofdegraded wellness on all levels of being.
The danger of a restless mind is that it destroys peace. Thesages of steady wisdom share that the only things a restless mind produces isfear, doubt, worry, anxiety, cynicism, sarcasm, anger, lust, greed and hatred.
Once the mind is stuck here, this becomes our inner state,determining how we vibrate and thus creating an environment for manifestingwhat we are meditating on. Thus, we become what we obey.
Another danger of a restless mind is riding the rollercoaster of emotion. When we are consumed with restlessness of the mind, webecome slaves to our emotions. We get stuck in the endless loop of what we arefeeling and perceiving through the skewed lens of wrong understandings propagatedby the thoughts of a restless mind. In this state, we are not able to make gooddecisions or think rationally and clearly. We are driven to act based on how wefeel and what we think about those feelings.
The final danger of a restless mind is declining physical well-being.
Sleep is disturbed. You experience an increase in stress. Perhapsreaching for alcohol or food becomes a means to quiet the restlessness, but itis only temporary. Depression sets in. In this state, illness and disease areable to manifest. When you are consumed with heath and well -being issues, itbecomes an uphill battle to reach for the means to quiet a restless mind, suchas meditation. One finds it challenging to sit for meditation when in pain becauseyou can’t think beyond the illness.
When the mind is restless this is a sign that we must goback to strengthening the pillar of Spiritual Power by way of doubling effortsat our daily practice to turn the mind within and go beyond the mind andsenses, to the Self.
When our bond is strong with The Spiritual Power, everythingelse falls into alignment.
Tips to Get the Restless Mind Under Control
Sit quietly for 30 minutes a day focusing on the breath.Focusing on the breath is an easy way to begin a meditation practice. Slowlyand steadily inhale, pause before breathing out, slowly and steadily exhale,and pause before inhaling once again. While breathing, pay attention to thesound the breath makes and observe the pause.
Chanting is a good way to quiet the restless mind and upliftyour entire being. 10-15 minutes is all you need to experience the benefits foryourself.
I use Om Namah Shivaya, which means I am One with theHighest Power. An internet search can reveal sources of chants on YouTube oriTunes.
Taking time to contemplate your thoughts and feelings mayreveal deeper messages, habits or patterns for you.
It is also a good practice to read the utterances of Saintsand Holy Beings in sacred texts and scriptures and contemplate on them.
Take a yoga class. The physical nature of yoga is a means toquiet the mind. The mind finds it a challenge to be busy in the midst offinding your balance and focus in a pose.