The mother of all problems is an untrained mind. An unhappy mind, in heaven, will create hell and a happy mind in hell, will create heaven. Heaven and hell are states of mind. One can live in the most wonderful house and still experience hell. Why does this happen? This happens because one has not trained one’s mind. Mind is like an elephant, if trained it can be very useful but an untrained elephant is hell in motion.

Can you elaborate on the mind and its management?

One needs to –

•        Understand the mind

•        Transform the mind

•        Transcend the mind.

Firstly, when you try to understand the mind, you will realise that the mind is not a static object, but a process. Mind is a crowd of thoughts that come and go. It is not static, but dynamic. This process of thoughts creates an illusion. We suffer because of this illusion. In fact, there is no such thing as the mind; it is only the thoughts that exist.

Secondly, you can transform the mind, if you can see the gaps between thoughts. Learn to see the gaps between thoughts. There is profundity hidden in these gaps. Once you learn to be in these gaps between thoughts, you will be able to manage the thoughts very easily. You will notice that the thoughts are an extension of your values. If you relish alcohol, you will have thoughts of alcohol. If you change your values, your thoughts will automatically change. However, first learn to be in the gaps ….. in the silence between the thoughts.

Finally, once the mind is pure, then you can transcend thoughts. Just practise being a witness to the thoughts but do not identify with them.

Change your values and your thoughts will change. How do we achieve this change?

Value is that which you give importance to. You give importance to something, with the feeling that you will benefit from it. If you value alcohol, what is it that you are going to benefit or lose? Be aware of the price that you are paying and the payoff that you would receive from it. The more you consume alcohol, the more you lose not only your health but also your wealth. What then is the purpose of consuming alcohol? Is it to attain relaxation?

Instead, teach yourself healthy ways in which you can relax. Thus, apply the price and the pay off technique and train your mind to change your values.