My mind has not always been my friend.
In fact, until quite recently (within the last couple of years) I often felt my mind hated me.
Listening to the inner stream of meanness, I would sometime fantasize about how peaceful my life might become if I could just take my mind out back and shoot it between the eyeballs.
No more mind…..no more pain.
Interestingly, as I have worked more with my mind over the last couple of years through meditation, contemplation, and study, I am finding ever more confirmation that I am on the right track with my efforts to quiet my mind.
In fact, recently I read an article that lined it out in stark black and white (and I paraphrase):
A mind “crowded with thoughts” is a weak mind. A mind free from thoughts is an “extremely strong” mind.
I want an extremely strong mind.
I want the kind of mind that has learned well to say nothing at all if it can’t say something nice.
I want a mind that walks softly and carries a big stick, which it uses ONLY in genuine emergencies.
I want a mind that stays so empty, it then gains the power to pick and choose only the best, biggest, and brightest thoughts to fill itself with.
To my mind, a mind like that is a good friend to have.
This is because a mind empty of thoughts can easily cut through the ceaseless parade of life-wasting dead ends and hone in on the one shining path truly worth pursuing.
As well, a mind empty of thoughts can never again be plagued by addiction and repetitive dangerous behaviors.
And an extremely strong mind is an invincible ally in rough times and a steady mentor in plush times.
To make my mind strong, I must think less. And since the nature of “mind” is “thinking,” this means I must give my mind a continual, steady stream of good-feeling, uplifting, peace- and faith-inducing thoughts to think so that it won’t just pick up any old stray thought off the streets to keep boredom at bay.
More and more I am realizing – the kind of mind I have is my choice. I can cultivate the mind I have been given like I would choose which seeds to plant in a garden plot of my very own. Do I want tomatoes or watermelons? Lettuce or broccoli? Mangoes or peaches?
It is up to me. In the garden of my mind, my choice is to plant peace, love, joy, compassion, discernment, wisdom, detachment, empathy, service, and self-care.
Now that I know what I want – and I comprehend the power I have to achieve what I want – all that remains is the hard work of making it happen.
Today’s Takeaway: What kind of mind do you want? Visualizing your mind as a garden in which you get to choose exactly what gets planted, what would you like to plant? What – if anything – must change before your “mind garden” blooms to your full satisfaction?