Nisargadatta - Dealing with the mind

Omkaradatta's picture

Average: 4.7 (3 votes)

Questioner: How do I go about it in practice?

Nisargadatta Maharaj: Whenever a thought or emotion of desire or fear comes to your mind, just turn away from it.

Q: By suppressing my thoughts and feelings I shall provoke a reaction.

NM: I am not talking of suppression. Just refuse attention.

Q: Must I not use effort to arrest the movements of the mind?

NM: It has nothing to do with effort. Just turn away, look between the thoughts, rather than at the thoughts. When you happen to walk in a crowd, you do not fight every man you meet -- you just find your way between.

Q: If I use my will to control the mind, it only strengthens the ego.

NM: Of course. When you fight, you invite a fight. But when you do not resist, you meet with no resistance. When you refuse to play the game, you are out of it.

Q: How long will it take me to get free of the mind?

NM: It may take a thousand years, but really no time is required. All you need is to be in dead earnest. Here the will is the deed. If you are sincere, you have it. After all, it is a matter of attitude. Nothing stops you from being a jnani here and now, except fear. You are afraid of being impersonal, of impersonal being. It is all quite simple. Turn away from your desires and fears and from the thoughts they create and you are at once in your natural state.

Q: No question of reconditioning, changing, or eliminating the mind?

NM: Absolutely none. Leave your mind alone, that is all. Don't go along with it. After all, there is no such thing as mind apart from thoughts which come and go obeying their own laws, not yours. They dominate you only because you are interested in them. It is exactly as Christ said 'Resist not evil'. By resisting evil you merely strengthen it.

mika's picture

Important text

This very text was the trigger for me to discover that 'accept' & 'observe' should be culminated by 'ignore' and led to the writing of the blog post Dangeous pitfall: accept, observe but do not dwell.

mika | Thu, 12/25/2008 - 22:18
Omkaradatta's picture


Nice to do something 'right' around here for once, instead of being yapped at for this or that ;-). Maybe I'll get lucky and post something else that hits someone's personal "me", as that's really all folks care about... if it's associated with "me" in a (perceived) positive way I'm paying attention, otherwise I'm complaining or ignoring it.

I don't think people realize how much this 'me' narrows their vision into a pinpoint, in which they miss up to 99% of what's available from life. Everything is (potentially) interesting and lovable.

Omkaradatta | Thu, 12/25/2008 - 23:19
barbara's picture

clouds of thoughts

Indeed an important text and with such a careful selection of words of a great jnani.

Another work of art that reminds me the above approach: Stopping the thinking, with no conflict.

barbara | Fri, 12/26/2008 - 14:01
Quantum's picture

I AM That....

I decided to buy a copy and it arrived last week. Partly because of your posts regarding it. I'm on page 27. So far, what I've read in it, and what I've read quoted on this forum, seems in line with what Eckart Tolle covers in in "Power of Now." If I were to keep only one Book, it would still be "Power of Now." I am curious what my position will be after I'm finished reading "I AM That." It might be a coin toss. It may very well be the last spiritual text I will "need" to read, though I may still "want" to read others.

As I started reading " I Am That", this weekened, it felt like reading the "Conversations With God" series. But what is benenficial for me with "I Am That" is that it (I think) deals directly with, like what you posted above, how to deal with the mind...somethign I desperately need to disassociate from. I want freedom from resistance. It's not easy.

You seem to hold a high opinion of this text, and the gentleman who taught the meditation classes I once attended also had a copy next to him. And his teacher speaks highly of this text also. So...with these advanced seekers on the paths reading from the book, I had to get my hands on a copy too.

I may have "yapped at you" in some posts or other. I apologize. You're like a Zen master snapping me awake. Sorry, I didn't recognize it as such. I appreciate your posts.

Quantum | Mon, 11/09/2009 - 19:54