I understand that we have to maintain an observer’s attitude towards our mind. But sometimes, trying to observe what is going on in my mind creates more turmoil in my mind since an inner dialogue starts about whether these thoughts are useless etc. Is there a way to observe the mind skillfully?
That’s exactly the process that needs to happen. An inner dialogue should begin and must lead to a sensible conclusion based on Viveka. Here are a few steps to follow:
Step 1] The Viveka needs to distinguish between Tathya and Vyakhya: Tathya is the fact and Vyakhya is the emotional cloud all around the fact. Let’s take an example:
There is always just one fact – just one Tathya. But the issue with the human mind is that it gets lost in attachment with Tathya. This attachment creates unnecessary emotional drama called Vyakhya. Using the intellect [Viveka], the wise one learns to distinguish between the two.
Step 2] Discard Vyakhya again and again: The wise one always creates this table of clear distinction in his mind for Tathya and Vyakhya. Then he discards the Vyakhya, understanding that it is baseless and irrelevant. Remember that Vyakhya will come up again and again, it is the bad habit of the mind. You have to apply this effort ceaselessly, again and again.
Step 3] Focus on the Tathya and take appropriate action if required: In some cases an action is required, then you must take an appropriate action. In some cases, it is not required, just letting go is the required action, then you must let go!
Step 4] Take a step back and keep observing: Then you must go back to observing the mind again. Just be a witness! Stop getting involved with the mind and just be a witness. Witness everything that is happening in the mind! And if again something bothers you majorly, start at step 1 again.
One day you will come to a point, where you become completely established in the ‘witnessing consciousness’. Vyakhya will completely drop away. The mind stops bothering you with clouds of emotions. You become a witness to everything happening such that every action, every decision happens all at the periphery, while you are still completely established in the center.
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