I like to think about my life as a mechanic who’s working on a car. In many ways, my body is like a car, and my mind is the mechanic. To fix a car, a mechanic needs to learn as much as he can about the car. My life is no different; and to ensure that my life isn’t a bumpy ride, I needed to learn as much as I could about my body and my mind. When a mechanic works on a vehicle for the first time, he always reads the instruction manual to understand the vehicle as best as he can. Just like the mechanic, I need an instruction manual to understand my vehicle, the vehicle of life. So, I started to read self-help books featuring yogis, monks, and ascetics. These individuals emphasized the beauty of life and the healing that could be achieved through meditation.
Once I cultivated all of this knowledge from these books, they served as instruction manuals for my life. After accumulating all of this knowledge, I then learned to apply it, opening up my mind to new experiences unlike anything I had ever felt before. In this way, I began to strengthen the muscles of my mind helping me become mentally fit. I strengthened my mind by reading and sought to improve myself by practicing alternative thinking. I learned how to discipline myself and maintain that discipline and I learned how to focus on achieving my goals. This way of looking at the world inspired me to spend time at the monastery that enriched me with a new outlook on life, making me more mindful, more aware, and more observant. To me, the mind is the commander in chief of the body, the operator that tells your whole body what to do. In many ways, your mind is an amalgamation of your thoughts, experiences, knowledge, external influences, phobias, insecurities, and your upbringing. With all the knowledge that you’ve learned and the experiences that you’ve had, your thoughts and experiences can easily convolute your mentality. But as you grow, you experience more. To convert these experiences into real wisdom, you have to stop and observe your thoughts, thereby learning how to control your mind.
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