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Becoming the Master of Thought

By Arun Goel

Thought is the Master of us all - a good thought is a good master and a bad thought is a bad master.

Good thought uplifts, makes the mood brighter, and makes us feel on 'top of the world'.

Bad thoughts are like a sack full of stones tied to us, pulling us down at every stage, overcoming us with lethargy, disinterest and even violent aggression. Hostile thoughts are deeply destructive even if contained within - they 'eat' us up by sapping our energy and vitality.

We are continuously guided by our thoughts at every moment of our existence. Even when we are asleep a good thought (dream) can bring the faintest of smile on our lips while a bad one can make us break into a cold sweat. Our mind is endlessly enslaved by our thoughts.

This much we know and have individually experienced.

But is good thought really 'good'? Not so, as long as it is our Master.

The hard reality of life is that a Master-Slave relationship always results in the exploitation of the slave. This is a practical reality and our relationship with our thoughts is no different.

As long as 'Thought' remains the Master, it will continue to exploit our mind and through that - us.

Quite humorous actually - and in fact humbling, to realize that we are nothing but a product of our thought - our actions, behavior and all what we are is just a consequence of the hold that 'thought' has upon us.

We are merely the vehicle and Thought is our driver.

Now what if our driver has had a bad hair day! He decides to take his anger out on his lovely vehicle (us). As he transforms from good to bad, the vehicle starts getting shaky, is tossed around to its limits and experiences exorbitant wear and tear.
Oh dear, if only the good thought had remained good - why did it have to become bad ;)

So, what is good today can become bad tomorrow totally on its own whims and fancy without 'you' having a say.

Just imagine that our entire life is dictated by our thoughts. We do - action or inaction - in the hope that it will stimulate our thought (please our master) who, in turn, will gratify our senses. But we only hope and, in fact, have no control on how our Master interprets what we do.

As slaves, can we really enjoy the beauty of life without any control? In fact, none of us even know what this 'beauty of life' is and honestly, these will remain hollow words so long as we remain slaves.

Role Reversal

Now, imagine if the role was reversed; if you could change the nature of your thoughts like a switch. If you could be 'genuinely' rejoicing from within, at will, even in the face of the worst adversity - if somehow you could 'disconnect' your thought from the situation at hand and manipulate your thought to feel totally free and blissful.

In other words, becoming a Master of your thought.

Wouldn't such a person be the most powerful one on earth, where no situations could be created to disturb him? If WE could create thoughts at will to gratify our senses, wouldn't we be the most blissful persons on this earth?

Perhaps such a feeling MUST be experienced to know its power. Perhaps such a feeling cannot be put into words and that is why we do not know what we are missing.

The point is that can it be done? Can this relation between Slave and Master be altered?

That precisely is the path of Yoga & Meditation. Meditation helps us achieve it - that is what the Great Masters and Scriptures claim.

One truth that I have realized is that Meditation need not be a journey where the finish line is Utopia while the path is full of thorns. No sir, it need not be. In fact, I have begun to see the truth behind the statement that meditation is both a process and a goal.

As you delve into the meditation process, you will start seeing situations with a new perspective and more as a 'witness'. You will start 'feeling' the control slowly flowing into you as you set out to realize this with a true spiritual purpose. Every small step taken serves to alter your thinking just that bit AND makes the experience of living that much lighter and fuller.

Issues that would normally agitate you, become surprisingly fewer in number while an aura of peace starts overcoming you. You can start switching off from disturbing situations more easily than you could ever do in the past.

Isn't that a reason good enough to be on the meditative path without the need to 'achieve' any goal?

How do we get into the meditative path?

For different mindsets, there are different techniques - one really has to find out for oneself what works best, perhaps, under the guidance of a spiritual Guru. In subsequent issues, I may touch upon certain techniques that help you practice effective meditation.

But at this point, I'll leave you to ponder whether you would like to experience meditation for the broader reason of - 'freedom from the bondage of thought'?

It is my belief that unless you really make that a reason, the lesser by-products of stress-relief, relaxation, vitality etc. will only be illusory.

In Yoga, as a fellow traveler,
Arun Goel.


Related Pages
Meditation Techniques
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