Before you start reading, just close your eyes and observe your respiration without any second thought for ten seconds…
Are you done? Great! For how long you’ve successfully observed your breathing-in- breathing-out process. Bet you observed hardly two respirations and it’s gone. Your mind is gone somewhere. And after a while, you realize, oh! where it is gone? I was here to observe my breath and again you bring it. Again after one or two bless…your minds is gone somewhere and again you realize you bring it back. And not only that when you find this mind wandering again and again, a flickering mind, you feel so agitated. What kind of mind I am carrying, why it cannot work this ordinary task just to observe. It does nothing to do. The respiration is there. It’s not a building exercise that you get fatigued because of that. It is there and your job is just to observe. It’s just happening you’re sitting on the bank of the river. The river is flowing. What you have to do? But still, it cannot do even this easy job. You feel very frustrated. You generate agitation, irritation.
Oh no..no, it’s not your mind going against the technique. This is your own habit pattern of the mind that when something unwanted happens, you react. You react with irritation, with agitation, with negativity and this is what you started doing. Now you want the mind to get concentrated and observe it’s not happening, so you start reacting- oh no…. no….
Wisdom in the acceptance
There is a breathing technique but first, you just accept the fact – your mind has wandered away. Even at this moment, your mind has wandered away. Smilingly accept it wandered away. So what, the breath is still there. You come back to play and again it wanders away and again you come back to the breath. Very soon you will realize that as soon as you accept the fact that the mind has wandered away, you won’t have to pull it back to the breath, it just comes. It will come automatically. You just accept the fact that the mind has wandered away. It will come back to the brain.
So, you started observing your mind, the very nature of your mind. It keeps on wandering. What a fleeting mind, a flickering mind, a wandering mind! Another reality, where does it wander. Oh.. so many objects, you can’t keep a diary. You’re not allowed to keep a diary. But even if you were allowed, where it needed? Every moment your mind is somewhere in the sky or somewhere in another world.
You don’t live in the present
So, you can’t keep a diary but still care if you notice you will find there are only two fields, only two fields for this mind to wander. The field of past memories and the field of the future! The memory will arise in your mind – this memory or that memory, at this moment this memory and later on maybe some other memory. You’ll keep thinking that it so happened, it so happened. Oh, so-and-so insulted me in the past, so-and-so abused me. At that time you didn’t know what to do, now if this fellow insults me I will retort like this, I will reply like that, I will do like… and start rolling in the future and you keep on rolling in future, rolling in future. Again, certainly thought of the past comes and you start rolling in the past. Again you jump to the future and you keep on rolling in the future.
Ahh! This is the habit pattern of your mind. It keeps on rolling in the past or rolling in the future, it does not want to live in the present. One has to live in the present. How can you live in the past? The past is gone forever. You cannot buy back the moment that has gone away, you cannot buy back it giving all the dollars in the world—impossible, it’s gone forever. And the future is the future unless it becomes present. You can’t live, you have to live in the present. And look at what sort of mind which does not want to live in the present. That is the reason it remains so agitated. It does not know the art of living. And the whole breathing technique teaches you the art of living. How to live in the present moment. Even a few moments you get when you are with the respiration, the reality of this moment is the breath coming in and the breath coming out. And all other moments you’re rolling in the past or in the future were the result of the habit pattern of your mind. Another reality will become clearer and clearer. Well, it wanders in the past, it wanders in the future. Ahh.. what kind of thoughts!
Your mind craves
Again two kinds of thoughts, two patterns. Pleasant and unpleasant. When it rolls in the past memories, the memories may be a pleasant memory or unpleasant memory. When it rolls in the future, the thought of the future may be pleasant or unpleasant. So either it is pleasant or unpleasant, you will notice that when it has started rolling in something pleasant of the pastor of the future, a part of the mind starts reacting; I like it, wonderful, this should happen again and again. Oh wonderful, wonderful. This liking, liking then turns into craving, craving, and then turns into clinging, clinging and you don’t know how you lost the balance of your mind. You have become unbalanced, you have become miserable because you started craving, you started clinging.
Similarly, when the mind starts rolling in a thought unpleasant of past or future, you will notice a part of the mind will start reacting I don’t like it, I don’t want it. And this ‘I don’t like it’ turns into ocean hatred and again you notice you lost the balance of your mind. You become very agitated. “Ah! This is the present behavior pattern of my mind.” It keeps on reacting with craving, clinging, aversion, hatred, etc etc. Which is the language of the days of Buddha was “thirst, longing, greed”. All the time craving-aversion, craving-aversion. Therefore, all the time agitated, why this craving? why this aversion? It’s all because one does not know what is happening deep inside. A surface level of mind remains busy with the outside objects and one does not know the depth of the mind, where craving arises, where aversion arises, where agitation arises, where misery arises, this is what called ignorance.
The mind is so ignorant at times you will notice how ignorant the mind is. The thought arises in the mind; past or future doesn’t matter, pleasant or unpleasant doesn’t matter. A thought is a reason in the mind and before even one sentence is over some other thoughts will get started, yet relevant thoughts. There is no sequence of thoughts. This is madness! What else madness can be? When you say somebody is an insane person it’s because that person has no sequence of thought.
Now you will realize how insane you are. You had no sequence of thoughts. One thing starts and then suddenly something else will start; this is madness and this is called ignorance. One ignorance when you don’t know what is happening and one ignorance when there is no sequence of your thoughts.
Well, if there is a sequence of thought, you don’t know how you’re generating negativity in your mind and how you’re generating misery. This will become clearer, clearer, and clearer at the experiential level as you go deeper and deeper.