Mind control

Mind control is about the conscious direction of thinking. This is of course exactly what meditation practices are about. In meditation you are constantly redirecting your mind towards a particular object. For example, you might focus on your breathing, or on a landscape or an idea. Every time you notice your mind getting distracted, you gently bring it back to the object of meditation. You do this with kindness to yourself, in a non-judgemental way.

The term 'mind control' could of course also refer to controlling the mind of someone else. Other people are often really trying to control your mind. For example, just switch on the television and watch some commercials. These are designed to associate a product (car, fragrance, service, whatever) with pleasant feelings evoked by images and sound (for example beautiful people, beautiful weather, beautiful music, humour, etc). Or some people may try to convince you to think about something in a particular way. Exposure to these outside factors makes it very hard for us to control our own minds.

Think about it. How often during the day are your thoughts really your own? You will find that most of the time, they are either dreamy images, mixed with desires and other feelings, or thoughts about things you have to do, or about things you have seen, heard or felt. Very rarely do we actually think for ourselves on our very own terms!

To think for ourselves is something that we can develop through meditation. Regular meditation practice first of all establishes a routine that is based on a totally free decision. No one is forcing you to meditate. You have to make this your own choice and decide, every single time again, when, where and for how long you willl meditate and what meditation type and technique you will use. This is the first step towards controlling the mind: making a conscious deicision to meditate.

Then in the meditation itself you keep your attention, your mind, focused on the object you have chosen. When your mind wanders off, you steer it back. This is training the muscle of the mind a bit further. Regular meditation will affect your whole life in many different ways. But it usually takes time to actually realise that this is happening and how. You may find that during the rest of the day, you become better able to control your thoughts. You may become less reactive, and more responsive. You may become less likely to be swept up in a sequence of negative thoughts, as you become more able to catch yourself slipping into it and bringing yourself back to the here and now. This is the second step in controlling the mind.

So the way I see it, learning to control the mind is a good thing, although I am a little bit uncomfortable with the term 'control' as this suggests a fairly strong force, compulsion, 'being made to'. There are some approaches to mind control that have very little to do with meditation. They may claim to offer a short-cut that requires no regular practice. It may cost a good deal of money to be taught such methods. I have some personal experience of two but would not recommend them.

return from mind control to meditation benefits

return from mind control to meditation for beginners

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