“If we cannot control
Each and every thought,
We are forced to become
The perfect slaves of thought.”

– Sri Chinmoy

We are familiar with the consequences of not being able to control our thoughts: our thoughts instead, control us. Most of us, most of the time, are guided by our thoughts or emotions, rather than our heart and soul. Our thoughts and emotions mostly arise from and are focused on limited and limiting realities; hence our infinite heart and free soul suffocate under the constricting blanket of the confined finite. Estranged from our soul – our perennial source of happiness, love, light and freedom – our life experience is captive to frustration, tension, insecurity and unhappiness.

We are forced to play the roles of characters alien to our true nature. Eternally infinite, pure, free beings of light and delight, we masquerade as confused, hesitant, fearful, cramped, petty creatures of uncertain obscurity.

Like desires, thoughts per se do not pose a threat to us: our mortal peril lies in our attachment to thoughts. It is the chains and bonds of attachment which render us helpless, imprison us and forbid our happiness.

Our predicament is stark: unless and until we can control our thoughts and thought process, we remain forever a slave. We might glimpse occasional happiness or catch an echo of partial satisfaction, but any chance of reaching our potential or fulfilling our soul’s purpose is a remote and forlorn dream.

The only way we can consciously gain mastery over our own thought process is through meditation. Yet to effectively meditate, we must gain mastery over our thoughts. This seeming “Catch 22” can only be resolved through sustained, dedicated, determined, patient commitment to our daily meditation practise.

Practise really does make perfect; slow and steady truly wins the race.