Thoughts are like waves rushing to the shore. Waves, especially on a windy day, rush to the shore, break down, and immediately other waves follow them. If there are some rocks on the shore, the waves crash with a roar and drops of water rise in the air.
The mind is like the ocean and thoughts are the waves. The restlessness of the mind is a deeply ingrained habit, and therefore, most people are not even aware of it. You become aware of it, only in certain situations, such as when you do something that requires your full attention. Then, you become aware of the great number of thoughts that pass through the mind.
You cannot quiet the waves of the ocean, but you can, at least to some extent, quiet your thoughts.
- Everyone needs some quiet time to experience inner peace.
- Handling efficiently the affairs of daily life needs inner peace.
- The mind works better when there is inner peace.
- Meditation requires inner peace.
Two of the main ways to quiet the waves of the mind are concentration and meditation.
The first step is to realize how restless the mind is. Here is how:
Sit down in a quiet place, and pay attention to what is going inside your mind. This might feel strange if you have never done so it before.
You might ask, “Why should I do so? What would I get out of this?”
- You will learn a lot about your mind.
- You will learn about your thoughts.
- You will have a first-hand experience of how thoughts behave.
- You will learn what inner peace is.
Try to watch your thoughts, as if you are watching a procession or a parade. Just watch the thoughts coming and going, trying as much as you can not to be involved with them or follow them.
You might be surprised at the number of thoughts that pop up in your mind, sometimes, at great speed. It is exactly like waves rushing to the shore, one after the other, never stopping for a moment.
Each thought would try to draw your attention and make you forget to watch your thoughts. You will be tossed from one thought to the other.
You will discover that you cannot continue watching your thoughts for more than a few seconds. Soon, a certain thought will dominate your mind and make you forget what you intended to do, and then another thought will enter your mind, and another one after it, and so on.
Suppose you could quiet these thoughts, and think only the thoughts that you choose. This you will be able to do when you become the boss of your mind, and this can be done with some inner work. This becomes possible when you learn to focus your mind, meditate, and learn how to quiet the chatter of your mind.