A dragon is a big, fiery, untamed creature. It is the perfect parabole for the mind. The human mind, not that of a bird, or a dog, or even an actual dragon. Besides protecting its liar, a dragon most likely has a greater mind than ours. And we’re intelligent beings, or so they say. Our minds are much more agitated than the breath of a dragon most of the time. This is an issue.
When I say how to train your “dragon”, I literally mean the mind. We’re all living in crazy times. About three months ago, quarantine started in most parts of the European continent. Then it moved to America. Before, it hit Asia and everybody else. In the meantime, our already startled minds began to really suffer. We’re now super anxious, depressed, angry, and so much more.
Train? More like “tame”
The truth is, we’re not able to train the dragon, or the mind in the general sense. The mind is not a physical dragon. You can’t put a chain on it and then have it sit quietly while you live your life. The only way to “train” the mind is to tame the mind. Not the thinking itself, but your reactions to whatever happens “under the hood”, where all of your life is actually lived. Here’s how.
Suppose you are angry because of the pandemic. You can’t go out, visit friends, go to the movies. Everybody feels a certain type of way because of this but in general, people feel depressed, anxious or tired of the entire thing. You might think the situation is to blame for this. No, the only thing you can blame for how you feel right now is you. Your untamed mind.
The mind is not under your control. You can’t control a dragon even if you put a chain on it. But you can tame it. How? Simply by letting it be and responding to its fiery breaths and uncontrolled actions in a simple, conscious, aware manner. Once you realise that you can’t control anything from the outside, the mind sort of “clicks” and starts to know peace.
Mind training 101
I’ll break this down for you in a few easy steps. How to train the mind has been on the agenda of many spiritual leaders from the beginnings of humanity. “The mind is everything. What you think, you become”, said the Buddha. “As in Heavens, so on Earth”, Jesus used to say. The examples go on. Training the mind to be less reactive and more responsive can be done.
Step 1: Notice the activity in the mind
How are you going to stop a dragon from burning your behind if you don’t start to notice its activity? See when the mind gets startled, that’s the first thing you must do. Then, see how the mind simply loves to go round and round in circles, thinking about the same things over and over. Notice the activity of the mind and how it makes you feel. See thoughts for their simplicity.
Step 2: Become aware of the inevitability of the moment
Once a thought comes into your consciousness, is it possible to change it? No. Once an idiot hits you from behind, breaking the rear of your car, can you change it back? No. Not without a mechanic, that’s for sure. So when we become aware of a thought that we like or don’t like, what’s the point in labelling it as “good” or “bad”, if there’s no way we can change it?
Instead of doing this, why not simply accept the fact that once a thought, or life event, or situation has happened to us right now, this moment right now is inevitable? It can’t be changed. No matter what happens, we cannot change this moment right now. Can you do anything else but read this line right now? No. Maybe next moment you can, but right now, you can only read.
Step 3: Instead of pushing thoughts away, accept them
Once you start to notice thoughts, see them for what they are, which is just thoughts, and then become aware of them being inevitable as any moment in your life is, start to accept this. Don’t think about how this thought is good, this one is bad, and so on. Simply sit here, aware of thoughts and emotions, and accept the inevitability of them coming into your mind.
Step 4: Enjoy the freedom acceptance brings
As soon as you start doing this, from a certain point on, you will see the mind will simply settle. If every moment we live, every thought that we experience, every emotion that passes through us are inevitable, there’s no other way for us to live but in a state of joy, right? What’s the point, the logic behind us getting mad, angry, or sad if every single moment we live is inevitable?
Accepting thought or emotion, or every life situation for what it is, is not a lock that we put on our own thinking and experiencing of life. It’s a key to unlock the freedom to live life to the fullest. Instead of sitting with worry about every thought that passes through the mind, we’re ready to accept anything that comes to us and enjoy the life that we’re living to its fullest. That’s freedom!
Step 5: Turn mind’s “acceptance” into “inevitability”
That’s how you train the dragon. The fiery creature that never lets you sleep, eat, learn or even speak with your friends sometimes. Always having something to “say” in the back of the head. From now on, consciously become aware of these patterns of thought, and see them for what they are. In little time you will notice the mind becoming much more relaxed. It’s not vanishing.
Most people tend to believe having a quiet mind means that the mind has to be shut off. But it’s not like this. If the lungs would stop right now, how would you feel? Dead, surely. Why do you want to shut down the mind then? It’s not the mind and its content that’s the issue. It’s your reactions, compulsive in their nature, that is making you miserable. Control your reactions.
When you can manage this, you can safely say you’ve trained the dragon.
Hi! My name is Gabriel, nice to meet you.
I run Gabriel Iosa Writing Services, my online dream business that’s now 4 years in the making. I’ve also worked as a journalist for 9 years and counting. My job is to come up with the best content for you regardless if it’s for your blog, website, book, social media posts or anything else. I can also help you with organic or paid reach so that you can put your products or services right in front of your future clients.
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[…] When you first start meditating, there’s a war of thinking happening under the hood. You sit there like this, and breathe like that, and try to calm the mind. But the exact opposite is happening. And you can’t control it. Meditation is not about that. You can’t control the fastest, most intelligent supercomputer on the planet. The mind is powerful. But you can tame it. […]