Peace of Mind

Once a few wise men approached Bhagawan Buddha to resolve a few doubts.

One of them said, “I don’t have peace of mind.”

The second said, “Many have described the weaknesses of the mind. Even though we understand this, we are unable to control it.”

The third one said, “To overcome these weaknesses, we listen to devotional songs, read holy books, train the mind, but all is worthless.”

The fourth one said, “We tried very hard to stir the mind away from distractions and wrongdoings, but it has all proven useless.”

Bhagawan Gautama Buddha was very quiet and did not respond. The men, however, were restless. They wanted Bhagawan Gautama to help them with their problem.

Bhagawan Buddha called one of his disciples and said, “Dear child, I am thirsty. Please bring me some water from the stream.”

The stream was close by. The disciple went there to bring water. The men, however, continued lamenting on the demerits of the mind. Quite some time had elapsed, but the disciple hadn’t returned with the water. So, Gautama Buddha said, “Let’s go to the stream and see what my disciple has been up to.”

Everyone came to the stream and were surprised at what they saw. The disciple was hitting the water with a stick. Gautama Buddha asked him, “What are you doing?”

The disciple answered, “Oh nothing, I am trying to clear the debris.”

Gautama Buddha took the stick from the disciple’s hand and asked him to bring back an oblong water pot from the ashram. When the disciple returned, Gautama Buddha filled the pot up with clean water. The debris had collected near the bank of the stream.

Through all this, the wise men continued their discussion on the restlessness of mind and how difficult it is to control it.

The disciple asked Gautama Buddha, “How did the water become so clean and clear?”

Bhagawan replied, “I didn’t do anything. I merely stood here calmly. The water cleared on its own. Our mind is like this stream. When you stay calm, it will calm down. There is no point in doing anything deliberately. Use the power of your intellect and be patient, the mind will slowly begin to calm down and become peaceful.”

The gist is sitting calmly, closing the eyes and not allowing any thoughts good or bad to enter the mind. To achieve that, attention must be focused on the breath. This stabilizes the mind.