There is a Hindu story comparing the mind to the trunk of an elephant – restless, inquisitive, always straying. In our villages in India, elephants are sometimes taken in religious processions through the streets to the temple. The streets are crooked and narrow, lined on either side with fruit and vegetable stalls. Along comes the elephant with his restless trunk, and in one sinuous motion, he grabs a whole bunch of bananas. He opens his cavernous mouth, and tosses the bananas in – stalk and all. From the next stall he picks up a coconut and tosses it in after the bananas. No threats or promises can make this restless trunk settle down. But the wise elephant trainer will give that trunk a short bamboo stick to hold. Then the elephant will walk along proudly, holding the bamboo stick in front like a drum major with a baton. He doesn’t steal bananas and coconuts now, because his trunk has something to hold onto.You know, any meditation support will work to tame the elephant's trunk - not just a mantra. Simply bringing the mind back over and over to the present moment is a powerful way of taming the restless mind. It is also the most reliable way to happiness I know. Add to that both compassion and lovingkindness and you have a prescription for bliss!
The mind works in the same way. We can keep it from straying into all kinds of situations if we just give it the mantram.
Saturday, March 31, 2007
Tame that restless mind!
I have a wonderful story to share with you today. It's the "Thought for the Day" from the Blue Mountain Center of Meditation and Nilgiri Press. Take a look: