“Threaten idle thoughts.
Chase idle thoughts.
Strangle idle thoughts.
Happiness and satisfaction
Will immediately befriend you.”

– Sri Chinmoy

Following Ramakrishna’s advice, to use a second thorn to remove the thorn embedded in our foot – to focus our mind on one thing, by which to keep unwanted thoughts and unwelcome distractions at bay – how to find the right ‘thorn’ for our purpose?

To help extricate ourselves from thoughts, we need to depart from the negative in favour of the positive; to shift the home base of our consciousness from our mind into our heart. So, whatever we choose to focus on must be positive, and imbued with the qualities of our spiritual heart.

To keep thoughts and distractions at bay, the object of our focus must be more attractive, charming, lovable, inspiring and fulfilling than all the queue of thoughts demanding our attention.

Whether we choose an object, sound, image, visualisation, mantra or music, let it be simple, pure, beautiful, humble and light. Simplicity disarms the complexity of thoughts; purity removes the stain of thoughts; beauty out-charms the allure of thoughts; humility tames the pride of thoughts; light lifts the weight and illumines the gloom of thoughts. By any and all these weapons of the heart, the power of thoughts is neutered, their dominion nullified, their spell over us dispelled.

Whether we gaze at a flower or candle flame; chant our favourite mantra; imagine ourselves on a remote beach or mountain top; or fly on the wings of the music-bird – ultimately, it is not what we choose to focus on that will determine our success: it is how fervently and wholeheartedly we offer ourselves to our task.

The more eagerness, love and joy we bring to our endeavour, the faster, surer, more lasting will be our success.