I want to share a little story with you. There was an executive who said that he was very upset with his boss. So he wrote a very nasty letter to his own boss. He signed it and decided to send it out after his meeting with me. When he mentioned this to me, I gave him this idea, that before signing any important paper, take a 15 seconds gap and just be still and reflect. So he did it, and he later said, “Gurudev, I did not send that letter that I had written, and it saved me a lot of embarrassment. And it saved my job as well”. Taking that little time, that 15 seconds gap, can make a big difference. You can do this several times during the course of the day. As children, we used to play this game called ‘Statue’. We would be running and playing and someone would say, ‘Statue’, and we had to stand still. Have you played this game? This is one of the brilliant things to do to bring the mind to the present moment. And of course, meditation is very important. A few minutes of meditation keeps your mind like a clean slate to take on a new load of work.
When you recognize a negative thought, get busy. If you simply sit, you will keep thinking a lot.
Improve circulation in your body
If your head is filled with too many thoughts, lie down on the floor and keep rolling and you will see the circulation in the body improves. When circulation improves then the mind feels better. That is the reason they do shayana pradakshinam (a form of worship done by rolling on the floor). Experience it and see how there is a change in your mind.
Shake hands with negative thoughts
If you keep resisting negative thoughts, and try to push them away, then they will follow you like a ghost. Shake hands with your negative thoughts. Tell them, ‘Come here and sit with me. I will not leave you’, and you will see how they quickly disappear. Thoughts are scared of you.
If you get scared of negative thoughts then they will control you. But if you shake hands with them, then they will disappear.
Pranayama and Meditation
They are very effective and instantly calm your mind down.
If you are bombarded with too many negative thoughts, know that something must be wrong with your bowel movement. Do Shankh Prakshalan (intestinal cleansing). That would also help.
Get up, do your exercise, sing, dance, do yoga, meditation, pranayama; all these will help.
Become a witness to your thoughts
You cannot stop a thought or know a thought before it comes. And when it comes, it also goes away immediately. If you are a witness to the thought, it simply drifts away and vanishes. But if you hold on to it and chew on it, then it stays with you.Thoughts come and go, but that which is the basis of thoughts – is the atma (soul). And that is what you are. You are like the sky, and thoughts are like clouds. This could be the nearest example one can give. Clouds come and go in the sky, but can they disturb or limit the vastness of the sky in any way? No, not at all.
So when you fly above the clouds, when you go beyond the clouds, you see that the sky is untouched. It is the same, it is unchanged. It is only the thoughts which keep moving. This is what happens in meditation. When you come into Sakshi bhaav, i.e., when you simply become a witness to the thoughts.
We do not have to attach ourselves to the thoughts. That is foolishness. Whether they are good thoughts, or bad thoughts – they come and go. You are far above and beyond all this. This is called the Vihangam Maarg – it means rising above thoughts and seeing that you have nothing to do with these moving thoughts.