Tricks and tips on how to train and tame thoughts

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Thoughts are potent. They carry vibrations that ripple out far past the constraints of our mind. We know that even within the brain, the vibration of thought does not travel in a direct circuit from one neuron to another. It skips a gap between neurons, called a synapse. That space proves that thought is transmitted across non-physical space. If it travels this way in the brain, then think how those thoughts can transcend physical barriers such as our skull. Science is starting to prove what saints through the ages have said about thoughts: they have an effect that can travel towards its target. Thus, when we think about someone, those thoughts travel and can affect the mind of the receiver.

We know that the transmission of broadcasts in one part of the world can be viewed and heard by people around the globe. Radio waves and light waves travel, crossing the boundaries of physical matter between the broadcaster and the receiver. These scientific marvels point to the truth that thoughts have an effect.This makes it essential that we learn to train and tame the power of our thoughts. We are the sender. We can choose what thoughts we want to emit to the world. We are also the recipients of our thoughts. They not only go out to others but they boomerang back to us. Like a pebble in the water radiates ripples, those ripples also affect the point of entry in the water. Nothing lives in a vacuum.

The thoughts we emit affect us, too. If we choose to send out arrows of angry thoughts, the effect of that anger ultimately returns to the archer who sent them—ourselves. If we choose to send out loving thoughts, we as the archer will be the beneficiary. It is up to us to choose whether we want an agitated mind or peace of mind. All day long, we encounter other people. We meet people in our household when we wake up in the morning. We meet people on the way to work or, if we work at home, when we have to go to the store to buy something. We work with people at our jobs or mix with them in our educational institutions. We deal with traffic almost everywhere we go. We are even attuned to what is happening in the world through the internet, social media, newspapers, radio or television. We are bombarded all the time with what is happening with other people near and far.

It is up to us to choose whether we want an agitated mind or peace of mind.

How we react to that stimulation is a choice we can make. If we choose to get angry, we are causing our own mental agitation. We will be distracted by the thoughts of other people all day long. This not only upsets us at the intellectual and emotional levels, but it affects our body. The body-mind connection is such that our thoughts can produce hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. These serve to activate our body’s fight-or-flight mode when we are in physical danger. 

But when these circulate in a non-life-threatening circumstance, their effects have been medically proven to break down our bodily functions. The stress hormones affect our heart, our breathing, our digestive system, and our vascular system, and cause a host of stress-related illnesses. If we choose 
agitated thoughts, we can make ourselves sick.

That does not mean we should ignore the behaviour of others; we can note them if there is an action we need to take to resolve something, but we should not let them affect our state of mind. We can choose to have peaceful thoughts. By doing so, we remain in a state of calm so that our mind and emotions are at peace and we do not cause our body any stress-related ailments.

Learn to tame your brain
Do this experiment. Next week, as you interact with other people and see yourself getting agitated by them, take a deep breath, put your attention on god within, and let the reaction pass. Do not let it disturb your peace of mind. See how many times you can check your thoughts and nip them in the bud before you become agitated. There will be many opportunities to experiment with this at home, at work, and while doing selfless service where you interact with many people. The result will be that you can learn to tame your brain and keep your agitated thoughts at bay and cultivate your peaceful thoughts.

The boost of meditation
Meditation helps us choose peaceful thoughts. Each time we meditate, we are choosing peace instead of being upset. The time we spend in meditation is a time in which we still our thoughts and bask in the calm and happy place within us. The more we meditate, the more we begin to carry over that peace into the rest of the day. This is why it is more beneficial to meditate first thing in the morning before we face our day’s challenges. We then enter the arena of life with a calm balance.

The biggest detriment we find in choosing angry thoughts is that it keeps us from focusing on god within and experiencing the inner vistas. Agitated thoughts deter us from keeping our attention on the highest goal of life: reuniting our souls with god. We will find that if we choose peace of mind, our meditations will improve because we do not have to work so hard to concentrate. We will be able to stay focused on god throughout the day while living in the world. We will find peace of mind and ultimately pave the way to finding the ultimate peace: experiencing god within at the level of the soul.

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