Know that bliss that’s beyond the senses to feel

Know that intuitively and settle in what is real   6.21

 That reality has nothing beyond it to gain

Not even the greatest pain can make it wane  6.22

 Yoga is the liberation from union with pain

Practise it with resolve and joyful mien  6.23

 Abandon fully your desires born of greed

Mind controlling the senses well indeed 6.24

 Gain tranquility steadying the mind

Not letting it into thoughts unwind   6.25

 As the mind wanders and wavers by itself

Control and rein it in within the Self   6.26

Sometimes, opposites can render meanings with greater clarity. I acknowledge this picture of the wise monkeys from the Net.

Buddha has compared the wandering mind with a monkey. Other wise ones have compared the mind with a drunken monkey bitten by a scorpion, jumping in deep pain, completely befuddled, with no idea what it’s doing.

The three wise monkeys bring to focus the irony of insulting monkeys. They are perhaps wiser than us humans. They follow the law of nature. The human mind knows no law.

Almost everyone who i have taught meditation has complained about the inability to be thought free. Truth is that we can never be thought free. Every breath we inhale brings with it the thought and desire to live. If it didn’t, after exhalation, inhalation will not happen. It’s that simple.

It’s only in death we are thought free. What then is meditation?

Patanjali, arguably the founder of the Yoga concept as a school of thought, says that meditation, dhyana, is the focus on one thought. He never confused meditation, the pre-final state in his eight fold path of Yoga, with thoughtless ness. Even in the very beginning, in his second aphorism in the Yoga Sutra, he defines Yoga as stopping the wandering of the mind.

In my limited experience, the most effective way to stop the mind from wandering is to focus on the breath. Buddha taught this as vipassana. Much before Buddha perhaps, in the ancient tantra text of Vigyana Bhairava Tantra  Shiva tells Parvati to focus on the breath, especially the turns of the breath between inhalation and exhalation as well as exhalation and inhalation, when she asks him where she can find him as the ultimate truth.

Try this. Settle on the pause between the breaths, as inhalation turns into exhalation and exhalation turns into inhalation. Stay there. In that zone you become as close to being thought free as you’ll ever be when alive. This practice of focusing on the pauses between breaths is more powerful than any pranayama in controlling the wandering mind.

Osho‘s Book of Secrets is a magnificent compilation of the Vigyana Bhairava Tantra. Bihar School of Yoga‘s Ascent as well as  Paul Rep’s Zen Flesh Zen Bones offer excellent complementary inputs.  If anyone really wants to understand meditation, one must read Osho; he expands on each sutra of VBT and describes the meditative process. Don’t miss it.

In one of these 112 sutras in VBT, you’ll find one technique that fits you. Own it. You’ll never look back. You’ll reach the state Krishna talks about in these verses.