Today we ask that you learn to restrain your neurotic thoughts.
“Neurotic thought” may defined as thought that has nothing to do with what is happening, but is rooted in depressive, guilty projections about the past, and anxious, fearful projections about the future.
Without your depressive, guilty thinking about the past, and your anxious, fearful thinking about the future, who would you be?
You would be very present in your life. You would be light-hearted. You would be focused on what is right in front of you. You would be much more relaxed. And you would be much more “productive” — which is to say, you would be able to do what it is you wish you to do in a day.
Without all the constant neurotic mental chatter and internal drama, how open and refreshed you would feel. Each day would be a clean slate — a new day in which to learn and grow and create. You would be like a child again.
Really, a mind overrun by neurotic thought patterns is a bit like a computer overrun with viruses, or a car that has not been serviced in many years. It is a bit buggy and clunky.
But there is nothing wrong with the computer, or the car. If you cleaned up the computer, if you serviced the car, it would run very well.
You can do the same thing with your mind.
You can service it the way you would a car, or run an antiviral program on a computer.
This is called meditation.
Meditation is a conscious process by which you observe and lessen your neurotic thought patterns. You do it by setting a timer for a short period — five minutes is sufficient, for a start — and during that period, you focus your attention on something. It may be counting your breath, it may be a mantra, it may be a candle flame. During that period, you make a sincere effort to stay focused on something. When thoughts arise, you return to the object of your focus.
Doing this regularly is like running an antiviral program on a buggy brain.
It is quite necessary that you do this. Your consciousness in an average day is exposed to a lot more viruses than your computer is. These “viruses” are crazy, untrue thoughts and beliefs that you pick up from various sources — friends, family, coworkers, the internet, TV, etc.
Even if you calm your mind and reduce neurotic thinking only by a little bit, you will notice an improvement in your clarity, presence, and ability to focus on immediate tasks.
It is your choice. But please know that you do not have to be a neurotic mess, plagued by worries, fears, and obsessive thinking. All that is asked is that you care for your mind the same way you would a computer, or a car. One might argue that your mind is far more valuable.