Wandering Mind and Stable Mind

By Luangpor Thong Abhakaro

Bless all of you.  The topic is “The Wandering Mind and the Stable Mind.” You may know yourselves whether your mind is wandering or stable.

 The wandering mind is the mind of one who hasn’t practices or realized anything yet --someone who doesn’t know the source of the mind.  His mind wanders with thoughts.  When thoughts arise, they take the mind away.  This is thinking without self-awareness.  He doesn’t see the source of thought or the source of the mind.  The mind goes with thought like a weak man who is easily influenced and follows anyone indiscriminately.

It’s different from the mind of one who has practiced or has self-awareness.  The one who practices can think with self-awareness.  The mind goes with thought but is in control because of self-awareness.

 The nature of these kinds of thinking is quite similar.  The difference is whether it is done with or without self-awareness.   Without self-awareness, the mind will wander along.  The stable mind can fight and tolerate disturbance from outside.  Nothing outside can harm this stable mind.

One who has self-awareness will have a stable mind.  Whatever kind of job he does, he will have self-confidence.  Even if he does nothing, he will be confident and stable.  If we don’t practice, our minds will wander around like the wind blowing in the sky.

Human beings only have one mind.  They should train their mind from a wandering one to a stable one.

 If we practice, what is difficult will become easy, but if we don’t, what is easy will become difficult.  If one doesn’t practice, his mind will wander away endlessly, but if he does, there will be an end.

To reach the end of suffering, we should practice self-awareness, which is to be aware of our bodily movements.  This practice is a shortcut.  It has nothing to do with any kind of rituals or outside activities.

So when we come here, there is nothing else to do but practice.  No need to talk or say anything.  When we practice and keep self-awareness, everything will be there.  There’s no need to analyze or explain.  If our self-awareness is perfect, or we are aware of every action, we will find the answer to all of our doubts.

Therefore, we should try to cultivate self-awareness during every kind of job or action.  If we could do that, the wandering mind would come back to the bodily feeling and itself.  It wouldn’t concoct anymore and would be stable.

The cultivating of self-awareness should be done gradually.  As it increases, the mind will become stable.  This mind can continue to do heavy jobs until it is completely successful and achieves the goal.  But the wandering or unstable mind cannot do or finish the job because of boredom.

We need to persevere in practicing but it should be done gradually.  We should not expect the result quickly as in the physical world since this is inner work.  It is the work in the mind.  This work creates Sati (awareness), Samadhi (attention), and Panna (wisdom).  One will realize this through one’s own experience.

 What I described to you in one thing, but the touching or direct experience of the mind is another thing, it is your own experience.  So when we tell people about what we’ve experience, they cannot understand.  The truth cannot be understood with words, only by practicing.  You will see inside yourself from wisdom’s eye, without depending on other people’s explanation.

This practice will make the mind stable.  When we succeed, the mind will change absolutely from the weak, wandering and aimless mind to the stable, normal, and calm mind.  This is the goal of life.

We must try and persevere.  Gradually it will accumulate until we have self-awareness all the time. The “not-knowing” or delusion will disappear.  We will have knowing and wisdom, we won’t forget ourselves.

Most people live without self-awareness.  They forget themselves.  Their minds wander around.  They might follow their thoughts all day long without coming back.  It is because they don’t know the method to bring their mind back or to make it stay inside.

The method that the Buddha told us all is to cultivate self-awareness.  The mind will not wander outside.  It will be content to stay by itself.  That is, we’ll be content to be with ourselves.  But some of us are not; we thing that other people or outside things are more important than ourselves.  We overlook our own value.  Actually, our importance is the most useful and wonderful thing.  Outside appearance doesn’t matter.  The most important thing is the mind but we overlook it.

Our mind and life will be the most useful, if we look into ourselves with self-awareness and wisdom.  We will do our duty or work with a stable and normal mind.  Whatever we do, we will have self-confidence.

When we have self-awareness, we will have self-confidence, even if other people don’t’ trust us.  The mind will be stable and won’t be shaken by emotions.

If we have a stable mind, we can be alone and be our own shelter.  But if our mind still wanders, even if we’re among a crowd, we still feel lonely and don’t have shelter.  People who have a wandering mind always need company or other people.

If we want this stable mind, we must gradually cultivate self-awareness.  This is an instant formula that the Buddha taught.