asked by Siddhant, 9th grade
This is a very important question. First get to know your own mind. Look at what kind of thoughts dominate and what kind of feelings arise in you when you follow certain thoughts. Also it is good to understand what the mind actually does: it plans, discerns, compares, remembers. This is what all minds do. If the mind becomes negative, then discernment becomes criticism. The mind is a tool and can be used well or misused. If you decide to visit Delhi the mind can be very useful if you need to check train or plane timetables and make arrangements with the people you want to visit etc. However if you keep thinking negative thoughts you can end up out of balance emotionally. I often tell people, “The mind produces thoughts but you don’t have to think them.”
However the contents of different peoples’ minds can be very different. By contents I mean the themes and stories that the mind makes up. Two people can witness the same event: e.g. someone gets angry with a sales assistant and says he’s being charged too much for the groceries he’s buying. Two people watch what is happening and one person’s mind makes a funny story out of what has happened and shares the story with friends. The other person has a strong reaction. He hates people being treated unfairly and his mind starts turning the happening into a war about goodies and baddies!
The mind is a useful tool but it also has its limitations. Therefore it is important to quieten the mind – to develop a more meditative mind. When faced with a topic for study it can be a good idea to tune in meditatively and reflect on what you have read or been taught. You can close your eyes, be quiet and imagine bringing light into your mind. Then reflect on the topic. Perhaps new ideas come to you and perhaps you feel inspired to share your ideas. This is using the mind in a constructive way and it’s also how you awaken your inner wisdom.
Please try not to over stimulate the mind. This isn’t easy today as there is so much information, so many distractions. Minds today are becoming so stressed out and just as a physical body can become sick with stress, minds can stop functioning well because they are over stimulated.
There are many ways to use the mind but this is all I am going to say right now because A few years ago I wrote a chapter about the mind in one of my books. Reading your question, I felt it could be a good idea to share what I wrote in The Awakener. Let me look at the chapter and see if anything needs to be adjusted for younger readers. Then we will share it with you