Three topics so far this week have given me much to think about: Patience, Comparisons and the Mind.
There’s no need to hurry. I’ll get where I’m going regardless of the speed I travel. And the more I relax and take my time the more I can enjoy the journey.
It is pointless drawing comparisons with anyone else. I have enough work to do balancing my own life without worrying about others. To travel this path effectively I must know who I am as best I can. That is not easy. It is a struggle to find myself. It is a life’s work to discover the real me, so how can I possibly assume that I can work other people out? How can I think I can encapsulate all the complications of another man or woman just from a brief glance or a short conversation… or even a long and lasting friendship? I cannot. So there’s no point in trying. The only comparisons I can make are with myself: how I was yesterday, how I was last week, how I was five years ago? These comparisons will show me how far I have come and encourage me to continue. They are empowering. Any other comparisons are a complete waste of time and energy.
The big one. Sort this one out and life becomes much, much easier. Karaj explained that controlling the mind is like taming a wild elephant. It seems impossible but with time and patience it can be achieved and the result is an immensely powerful tool which can be put to constructive use whenever and however I wish. I have a tendency to dwell in the states my mind creates for me. If I’m comparing myself to another, then I stay with it despite the damage it does to me. If I’m bashing myself up then I endure the suffering because I’m convinced that it is justified. I am often a slave to my own mind when it should be the other way around. My mind is like a naughty child which needs constant surveillance. If I keep a close eye on my thoughts then I can assume a modicum of control over them. However, this is difficult. My mind waits until my back is turned and then it’s off. And what’s worse, instead of standing my ground and hauling my mind back I follow it wherever it goes. It is the essence of meditation to allow thoughts to surface and to observe them. Don’t interact with them, don’t fight them, just observe. Eventually they melt away. Like a child who shows off, if there’s no reaction or interaction from the adult then what’s the point in showing off? Eventually, the child resigns and the show is over.