Taming my ELEPHANT mind

“I trust myself, my emotions, and the universe, I ask for answers, a sign, and I receive. What and however I receive, I am grateful, because I simply trust, with all of my being.”

Some years ago, I noticed how I ignored my mind, how I turned my back on it, so I couldn’t see the beautiful yet horrible mess that it was making, I was so far that I couldn’t even hear the loud screams and lullabies, I was oblivious of how extraordinary and yet how reckless this elephant mind can be, and how powerful it is. How by ignoring it, it ran so far and wildly to my opposite side that I felt the push and pull that made me fall on my back multiple times, and I could stay there laying for days, and get back up, but even then, when I stood up, I wouldn’t turn to look.

By noticing this, I decided to turn and face my mind, thinking that maybe because I finally turned and looked at it directly it would’ve noticed me, but it didn’t. I thought that showing my vulnerability would make it stop from running, but it didn’t. I ran and ran after it, that I got tired, and I sat on the ground crossed legs, looking at how it danced and stumbled, how it ignored me, and just being in total control. I cried of how much it hurt me, because in this moment I was falling flat on my face, and the bruises and wounds took long to heal.

I decided to sit quietly, because I wanted to identify what was making my mind so berserk and irrational, yet I fell in love with how it moved so freely, like nothing can stop it, it was beautiful but destructive, and I was fascinated, I was noticing, but I was giving in to this control, this time seeing what it was doing to only figure out after a year, that all this is was a distraction, and I blamed my distractions for their monkey like behaviors, but whenever I do, my finger would turn and point back at me, which only made it worse.

It took me a while, but I learned to appreciate my mind, and to love every single part of it, I started appreciating myself physically and soulfully, that I gained more patience, and slowly I was gaining the tools that I needed to finally capture and tame my elephant mind. I sat still, and read books that gave me wisdom, some people even came to me and sat with me, giving me advice, which was very helpful. I gained the force of recollection (mindfulness, a lasso) and the force of consciousness (awareness, a goad).

I have now the tools, so I started to chase after my mind, and eventually lassoed it, and it turned to look at me, so did my distractions, and I also noticed a third intruder which was a rabbit like dullness. So, my distracted mind and strong dullness, looked at me. Now, right now, present today, I have my elephant restrained, and she is looking right at me accompanied with the monkey and the rabbit, and I can see clearly how the monkey uses my senses for distraction. It gets hard some days to hold on to their gaze, and my grip, but I am on the road to a calmly abiding mind.

It takes a lot of energy, and effort to try and restrain your mind, but it’s not impossible, being here in Poland helped me a lot, and Noticing how I am just at the beginning (3rd stage), even thou I am on this road going for 4 years now, makes me just happy, and grateful, because I am aware. Anyone can do it, but really, it takes a lot.

I dance in gratitude, and in love with the journey of my growth, seeing all my stages from my past to now makes me extremely happy and grateful. because I love, I really love every single piece of it, the good times and the bad times. I appreciated and still appreciate every lesson I receive and comprehend. I am grateful to be alive, to be able to have this journey in human form and learn so much. The feeling of when my elephant mind noticed me, and I faced her, was something, very calming and amazing, and still we have a long way to go.

Cherly-ann Franken, volunteer in Szkoła Demokratyczna Droga Wolna, Szczecin

I used the example of the Tibetan ‘taming the elephant mind’ (Shamatha, calm abiding meditation practice) painting, because it represents it perfectly, it gives you the nine stages of mental development. https://friederishi.wordpress.com/2013/09/24/the-nine-stages-of-mental-development/

if you are interested you can click on the link under the picture and also the link up here about the nine stages of mental development and it will give you the meaning of every symbol in the Tibetan painting.

Author: European Volunteers in Poland

A blog curated by volunteers taking part in European Solidarity Corps initiative in Poland and coordinated by Active Woman Association

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