In my life and business coaching practice, I run into a lot of people looking for more success and happiness in one form or another. Occasionally, some of these clients have concluded that their greater fulfillment is not going to be found in usual playgrounds of additional accomplishment in their; career, relationships, hobbies, fitness, fame, or their bank account.
And anyone who has ever had a deeper calling, who has genuinely longed to find what it true and lasting in life, has inevitably run into a few predictable roadblocks associated with the limitations of the human mind. Because changing, reasoning with, convincing, pacifying or sustainably satisfying the mind can seem like an impossible job.
Fortunately, there are many solutions offered. Various spiritual traditions attempt to solve this problem by offering the a seeker a particular set of long-established, widely-held beliefs, coupled with the invocation that it is a virtue to have faith and not to question. This works for billions of people, and yet causes others to flee.
Other spiritual traditions teach elaborate practices to still the mind. This approach can keep many people busy for years. Yet, whatever stillness is momentarily achieved, quickly evaporates and sends the seeker back to do yet more practice.
If you are lucky, and ready, you may run into a teacher that can help you realize that any attempts by the mind, to manage the mind, will at best provide limited and temporary benefit. Ultimately, the conquest of thought is the simply, direct, recognition that you are not your thoughts. A thought may seem very close, intimate and personal, yet you begin to notice the real, unchanging you, is what is witnessing thought.
I am pretty sure I read this type of instruction a few hundred times from a variety of sources before I was ready to actually personally explore it. And finding the appropriate guide is a matter of timing and grace. However, once it is directly verified that you are more than your mind, you will come to see that mind is really not your enemy. It is simply one of the many ways the energy of life expresses itself. All thoughts and emotions, and all life circumstances do in fact come and go. And there is an unchanging part of you that really does witness it all without affect. Further, this part of you needs nothing, resists nothing and thus is always quite content.
So, ironically, it is only when the mind stops seeking its own improvement or dissolution, that it is truly at peace. And it is only when you stop identifying with or trying to control the mind, that you can simply ignore it out of relevance.
It is there. It is useful. But it is not who you are. It is just part of what you experience.