Taking the Reins of the Mind Horse

Taking the Reins of the Mind Horse

“I took the reins of the mind-horse.
Through practice, I learned breath control.
Then only the orb of the moon melted
and dripped down into my body –
nothingness merged with nothingness.”
— Lalla

My mind you are strong, the center of imagination, receptivity, intelligence and intuition. You have the power to create, and the power for awareness, focus and compassion. But instead you often wander aimlessly or take off running towards a phantom idea or you go to even worse places. You become the shadow, and go on mad dashes through vast fields of discursive thought, pulling in different directions towards whatever appears to be juicy, falsely promising, or most immediate. And so you cause me to alternate seemingly willy nilly between the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. Clearly I haven't yet sufficiently learned how to control your reins.

My mind your wandering, pulling, stubborn chatter dissipitates focus, keeps me on the periphery. Distractions and diversions fill the space that could otherwise be simple and prayerful, a quieter refuge. Sometimes I lose the reins because I am working so hard to keep moving, to be faster, better, more efficient. The idea of real space, vastness, expansion remains unknown to me, ungraspable, un-nurtured.

My mind, you cause me to ask pointless questions that I know will fall away when I control the reins. Questions whose answers I already know such as: "What do I want?" "Where do I want to go with my practice? What brings me to my mat every morning to stand in Samastitihi? What do I want to cultivate in my life? FOR my life?"

'Nothingness merged with nothingness', the zero position, Samastitihi this is where IT happens, where I befriend you, the mind horse, I get control of the reins that direct you and the ungraspable becomes graspable. I become empty, void minded and this is the starting and ending point of my relationship with you my mind.

'Through practice I learned breath control'. My greatest ally in taking the reins is in following my breath. Emptying my body brings in the breath, its vastness along with the concentrated, devotional awareness that comes with it. My mind I repeat: 'let breath lead'. I say it sweetly or with salt: 'let breath lead', lead me to where my own self returns to me.

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