Freedom tames the mind. The mind is the hardest part of ourselves to control or love because we feel trapped inside it-not all the time, but in those moments when trouble breaks in. Fear has a way of roaming the mind at will. Depression darkens the mind; anger makes it erupt in uncontrollable turmoil.
For over 5,000 years, humankind has recognised that the mind is restless and unreliable. In Buddhism, the mind is likened to a monkey looking out at the world through the five senses. Monkeys are very fickle and liable to do anything without notice. Buddhist psychology does not aim to tame the monkey so much as learn its ways, accept them, and then transcend to a higher awareness beyond the constant chattering of the mind.
Metaphors will not get you to a place where you can love your mind, and you must find the experience of peace and calmness on your own. The secret to doing that is to free your mind. When it is free, the mind settles down. It gives up its restlessness and becomes a channel for peace.
The mind is wild
The mind is “wild“ because we try to confine and control it. Instead, we should accept that our mind is the cause of our emotions. When we get angry or annoyed at an event, we have no control over our emotions said to be running high. When we are happy at the opposite end of the scale, we anticipate a celebratory event such as a birthday or wedding. It is the mind that causes the emotion of happiness because the event has not yet happened. That is the way that most people in the world experience their minds.
A short video showing how You can control the mind
How can you set your mind free? Free from what? First, you need to understand how the mind becomes trapped.
Most people build up an identity without knowing that they choose to do this. From our early years of life, we have watched, and listened to the actions of other people. They could be family, friends, films or the school playground. For example, we see someone becoming angry in a situation or happy in another one. Like the child, we would copy the emotion we see when we are in a similar situation.
As the years build up to our adult life, we would have seen thousands of events that made us angry, cry, depressed or anxious. These types of emotions rob people of free choice. Unable to escape the toxic memories, people adapt them, adding one layer after another of impressions. The bottom layers laid down in childhood keep sending out their messages, which is why adults often look in the mirror and feel like impulsive, frightened children. The past has not been worked through sufficiently through a jumble of old, outworn experiences.
Stored memories are like microchips programmed to keep sending out the same message over and over. Next time you notice your reaction to a situation that makes you annoyed. Ask yourself, why did you get annoyed? As an example, you might answer. “Well, I’m stuck in this traffic jam, and I will be late for work”. Okay, let us ask a question about the traffic jam. Are you able to move the cars out of the way? Probably not. Why not take your mind off being late for work, accept that this has happened, and enjoy the rest.
If you say that you cannot enjoy the rest because you have much to do at work. Does getting stressed in this situation help you do your work? This example of stress is a common occurrence that people encounter in their commute to work. Once you understand that you are in control of your mind and not outside circumstances, you are on the way to setting yourself free.