Mind needs to be coaxed
First of all, we have to understand that we are attending to meditation only because it will make us happier and peaceful. Even though there appears to be some kind of happiness when there are excitements or fulfillment of desires, they don’t last long. Sometimes, they even cause problems later, or there is a let down that leads to depression. There has to be a spontaneous happy feeling without being forced by some excitement or fulfillment of desire. This is real happiness. Mind has to be convinced of this.
Since we are accustomed to letting the mind go anywhere it wants and act like a brat, it will take some conscious, concerted effort to tame it so we can get some peacefulness.
When we actually start to meditate and be quiet, the mind will protest, and give all sorts of excuses. This is where we have to coax it. How?
Ramana Maharshi, a great Master, in a reply to a devotee’s question says as follows.
“Practice is necessary. It is like training a roguish bull confined to his stall by tempting him with luscious grass and preventing him from straying.”
Again, during another conversation, Ramana Maharshi says as follows.
M.: A refractory bull is lured to the stall by means of grass. Similarly the mind must be lured by good thoughts.
D.: But it does not remain steady.
M.: The bull accustomed to stray takes delight in going astray. However, he must be lured with luscious grass to the stall. Even so he will continue to trespass into the neighbour’s fields.
He must gradually be made to realize that the same kind of good grass can be had in his own place. After a time he will remain in the stall without straying.
Later a time will come when, even if driven out of the stall, he will return to the stall without going into the neighbouring fields. So also the mind must be trained to take to right ways. It will gradually grow accustomed to good ways and will not return to wrong ways.
D.: What are the good ways to be shown to the mind?
M.: Thought of God. Meditation.