Here’s a simple experiment I tried. While brushing my teeth first thing in the morning, I tried to count the number of thoughts I had. Without worrying about what I was thinking about, I just let it all flow. I must have counted some 30 or 40 thoughts easily. Plenty of things about the day ahead, what new work I might get, who I might meet, what my boss might say, what my colleagues might say, how I might respond, how I should respond, whether I’m ‘stuck’ in my career, whether I can ever become a millionaire, a billionaire even, some thoughts about the experiment itself, how many thoughts were flowing through, and on and on.
The one thought I didn’t have? About the brushing itself!
Lord Krishna in the Gita says that the one dearest to Him is one who is always thinking about Him. There are many who fight to get into a temple, after standing in long crowded lines, often starting at 2 am (not unlike an iPhone launch!). There are others who attend many spiritual talks and gatherings and proudly keep count. In the pandemic work-from-home era, online sessions have become a new normal with attendees proffered with the choice of flitting between spiritual satsang sessions as they like.
But what comes out of all this? Mental peace and calm? Hardly. How many times during the day is my focus fully and solely on the Creator? The mind continues to be replete with wavering thoughts and is scarcely transformed. Real change can only come through objective self-evaluation followed by purposeful and conscious implementation of what is learnt, step by step.