There is a story about Buddha.
A disciple came to him and said “My mind is full of turmoil. I feel so guilty, I feel so bad, I feel so this and that” and continued rambling on about a lot of things. Buddha told him to go and get water from the pond.
The man went to the pond and found that the pond was muddy. He told Buddha “I can’t get the water. It’s too muddy”. Buddha smiled and simply asked him to try again. This went on and on.
A little later Buddha again told him to go and get some water. The disciple said “But it’s all too muddy”. Buddha insisted “No, go and get the water.”
He Had No Choice But To Go And Get The Water.
When he went back to get the water, the water had settled and it was clear. He brought the water to Buddha and Budda looked at the disciple and smiled with the words:
“So when your mind is muddled, just give it some time and it will settle, it will become clear.”
So many of us in the west think we must control our minds and avoid negative thoughts. The paradox is that when we attempt to control our mind, it becomes more difficult to control. Instead, sometimes we need to let go and let the mind be. Eventually, it will clear itself.
According to famous spiritual teacher Osho, this is the first step to enlightenment. He says that you can get rid of all “this insanity” by “being a simple witness of thought processes.”
By witnessing your thoughts, we can create a gap between the witness and the mind. Once you create this, you realize that you are not the mind, that you are actually the observer.
Osho says that “This process of watching is the very alchemy of real religion. Because as you become more and more deeply rooted in witnessing, thoughts start disappearing. You are, but the mind is utterly empty.”
He further says “That is the moment that you become for the first time an unconditioned, sane, really free human being.”