"Being endowed with a pure intellect, and controlling oneself with fortitude, rejecting the objects-beginning from sound, and eliminating attachment and hatred, One who resorts to solitude, eats sparingly, has speech, body and mind under control, to whom meditation and concentration are ever the highest (duty), and who is possessed of dispassion; having discarded egotism, force, pride, desire, anger and superfluous possessions, free from the idea of possession, and serene, is fit for becoming Brahman." Bhagavadgita 18.51-53
Meditation is undoubtedly the essential method. Many think of meditation as sitting with one's eyes closed. Meditation, however, means observing the mind, and that can be done whenever one need not fully concentrate on the surrounding world. Buddha's method known as vipasana can be recommended for examination of the body and mind and their behaviour. This method is very simple and easy to practise. Also the four noble truths of Buddhaare a clear and simple definition of the spiritual path. Buddha's description of the sixteen degrees of meditation is a very interesting and useful summary of many phenomena that may appear in one's mind. Your are certain to find a book within the current broad offer that will suit you. To examine and calm the mind, you can use the self-enquiry method called atmavichara, so beautifully described by Sri Ramana Maharishi. There is a lot of good literature concerning Sri Ramana,his life and his teachings.
It is useful to introduce a kind of order into one's life: regular morning exercise, regular morning and evening meditation and regular remembrance of God by lighting a candle or an incense stick and a bow. That is a great tool to fight laziness and doubt. The exercise need not be long. I have practised a six times Yoga Exercise Sun Salutations for several years, which does not take more than ten minutes. It is the perfect exercise to relax your spine moving and release your blocks both physical and spiritual. Fifteen minutes of meditation, or abidance in peace, are sufficient morning and evening. This regularity is much more useful than irregular long sitting or exercise, because it fights the ego directly, gives your life a higher perspective, tranquillity and a feeling of joy, content, bodily comfort and happiness. Of course you can make your exercise longer as you wish if you have the time. See to it that the exercise does not become a bondage. If conditions do not allow exercise, compensate it later. Do try to remember to practise, though.
There are many aids with which you can calm your rushing mind. Prayer beads, mantras, and various types of simple repeated body and breath exercise put the mind in order. The mind calms and the calming activity itself begins to feel distractive after some time. The activity is then stopped automatically, because you have reached what it was supposed to help you reach.
Devotion and non-attachment must be practised in everyday life. It is difficult to recommend a method or book. A seeker must catch every improper thought and emotion, identify where it came from, what it is like, and focus on its source. They must seek there which desire, attachment, dependence or other bondage is its cause, think and try to remember how the bondage was formed and search for its roots. If you dislike something, the problem is not in the outer world. The problem is in your mind and you must find out where it is. Each problem has a cause. Every evil ordeal is invaluable experience. Without the apparent evil, we would not be able to discover our own ignorance. The entire spiritual path is a detailed, consistent and honest searching and elimination of the roots of your own ignorance.
Examination of the mind, the methods and phenomena are best described in Bhagavadgita. The book deserves maximum attention. Do not look for mysteries in it. What you will find in it is a perfect instruction on how to examine your own mind, how to treat the mental illness called the ego, and detailed descriptions of the stages of the therapy..
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