Your mind is like a spoiled rich kid!
You have raised it to think whatever it wants, whenever it wants to, and for however long, with no regard for consequence or gratitude. And now that your mind is all grown, it never listens to you! In fact, sometimes you want to focus on something, but your mind keeps drifting away to whatever It wants to think about. Other times, when you really want to stop thinking about something, your mind “can’t help it.”
Training the mind means being in charge of your decisions instead of succumbing to cravings and so-called “uncontrollable urges.” Can you think of a better method for training a spoiled rich kid than some serious boot camp?
First things first: stop granting yourself everything you crave. Doing so conditions the spoiled kid to know that it can continue having whatever it wants.
Please do not mistake this for deprivation, because that’s not what I’m suggesting. You can still have ice cream, for example, but only when you decide to, not when a craving “takes over.”
There is a difference.
So when a thought arises, just watch it; don’t react to it. “Oh, I really want ice cream”… that’s nice; see what it’s like to want something but not always get it.
The first few times that you try to train your mind you will see the little kid in you throw a tantrum, which is actually hilarious. But it’s understandable; you’ve never said “no” to it before. It’s time you start!
You will eventually notice that you have more freedom to choose once you’re in control of your choices. It’s tricky; I hope this chapter from Buddhist Boot Camp makes sense.
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Assistant Ed: Dana Gornall/Ed: Sara Crolick
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