People often ask me, "Impure thoughts come to my mind. How can I improve the quality of my thoughts?" I say, "You must first understand that the mind is an accumulation." It is the society's garbage bin. Anyone who passes by stuffs something into your head. Let's say you don't like this person; can you stop taking things from him?
This way in
You receive much more from people whom you don't like than from people you like, isn't it? You have no choice about what enters—everything that you're exposed to in the world will enter you. You have no discretion about what to take and what not to take. But you do have discretion about what to use and what not to use.
So what you call as thought is just a certain reverberation, which is happening all the time. Whatever the content of your garbage bin, so will be the kind of thought you will have.
I don't want to improve the quality of your thought. I just want you to find the switch to your thoughts and switch them off—like how they tell all of you in a workshop to turn off your cell phones. Don't you turn your cell phone off? Switch it off, and turn it on when you need?
You don't have to control the quality of the thought; you turn it off when you don't want it, you turn it on when you want it. If you have this mechanism, then thought is not a problem.
On and off
The very source of Creation is throbbing within you; what is it that you're thinking about that is more important than that? To handle the mundane activity of life, you need to think. When you need to, you turn on your cell phone; when you don't need, you switch it off.
Mind is just a small version of the Internet. It has gathered this and that from everywhere. When we need it, we go online, when we don't need it we go offline, isn't it? That's how you should be. Don't try to improve the quality of the Internet; all the garbage in the world goes onto the Internet. What you want to access, and when you want to access is up to you. But you have lost that freedom. All the time it [your mind] is on. That is why you're talking about improving the quality of thought.
Don't try to improve the quality of thought; you cannot. If you turn it off and turn it on... if it becomes a conscious process, then you would naturally choose what you want.
Mind and meditation
Someone once asked me, "Although I am trying so hard, I am not able to meditate. Can you tell me how to control my mind and concentrate on meditation?"
I ask: why do you want to control your mind first of all? Why this prejudice against this mind? When you sit in meditation, do you think, I must control my heart; I must control my kidney function or liver function? No. You allow all of them to do their work. Why don't you let your mind also do its work?
Only against the mind you have this prejudice that the moment you sit in meditation your mind should cease, but you want your kidney to function, liver to function, heart to function. You don't want those to stop. It's a very wrong approach.
Futility of control
People told you, you must control the horses of your mind. You never got to do it. Do you believe somebody else has done it? Nobody has done it because in the very nature of things it is impossible to do.
It took millions of years to evolve this mind—from a worm to an insect to a monkey to you; it has taken million of years to evolve this level of mind. After such a phenomenal effort, and after getting a mind like this, why do you want to control it? But this mind, which should have been a miracle, has now become a misery manufacturing machine.
All the human misery on this planet, where is it? In your mind, isn't it? That means we don't know how to operate it. If we knew how to make this mind into an ecstatic process, would you be thinking how to control it? No. So, you just have to learn to use it properly, not control it.
There are simple practices in yoga for which you don't have to control your mind, just follow simple instructions. If you settle down into this process, what you will see is, if you sit here, your body is here, your mind is there, and what is 'you' seems to be a little away from these two. The moment you have created a little space between you and the mind, between you and the body, it will be the end of suffering and that is when you will explore your true potential.
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