Controlling Your Chatterbox Mind:
My mind is a constant chatter of thoughts. I mean, I can’t stop the mind, and when I sit to meditate, my mind goes on overdrive; there’s a song playing in the background, someone is there with a megaphone, and people are talking. How do I get them to shut up so that I can be still and meditate?
When you say, “My mind is noisy,” you are right! You need to understand that the mind is nothing but noise. If you were to take away all the noise, all the distractions, and all the happenings in your mind, then where is the mind? There would be absolutely no mind, what Buddha called the state of “no-mind”.
To understand the nature of the mind, first you need to investigate the mind: What does it want? How does it function? What is its motive? The mind has always been the master, and wants to continue to be the master. When you sit quietly, it wants to be in charge, so it tells you to do this or that, and constantly pushes you to think about something.
When you tell the mind to keep quiet and say, “This is my time for meditation, why don’t you just relax and be quiet?” you are literally threatening the existence of the mind, or at least that is how the mind perceives it and retaliates with, “No, I don’t want to be quiet. Why are you sitting quietly, anyway? You’re just wasting time. I don’t understand this sitting quiet thing.” This conversation, this noise, is what you need to observe. The objective of meditation is not to run away from this noise, but to understand what it is.
Not understanding the mind is the actual fuel that drives the mind. The more time you spend understanding the mind, the less noisy it becomes. The mind loves to function in darkness; it wants to remain elusive, and hidden. The moment you begin observing the mind through meditation, it’s as if you are lighting a lamp in the dark. The mind is like a monster that cannot stand bright light; it wants to remain hidden. In that hidden nature, it wants to make you do a lot of things. Once you begin watching your mind, it reveals its true nature and loosens its grip on you.