RYS 200, 300, 500 in Rishikesh
Every day, no matter how tranquile your life may be, the brain gathers a lot of information and stores it; just like a USB-stick, but all of this cannot be processed and it builds up in the mind, causing tension which eventually needs release. You then either become unexplainably tired from mental exhaustion or you become angry and violent. The tension must be released somehow! These days the problem is bigger than ever as we are fed with so much information that we accept as knowledge which is completely out of our own experience. The mind cannot in any way validate it, relate to it, but it accepts it nevertheless as a truth and stores it with subtle discomfort. The mind has been told that the sources of information can be trusted (I'm talking about news delivered through TV, newspapers, movies, books etc.). This is of course completely absurd! It's like having a kitchen full of stuff you yourself can't eat but is the favorite dish of someone else! It makes no sense.
So how to avoid this, or at least reduce the tension? The first thing to do is to cool your mind (which will also make meditation a lot easier). Personally, I stopped reading newspapers (or actually I never started to be honest...) many, many years ago. Reading about negative things which are not in my personal experience is a sure way of polluting my mind, I figured. It only planted seeds of fear, frustration, confusion and anger. You read about war, but you never experienced one and the only reason you think you know anything about it is because you have somehow put your trust in governments, journalists and reporters - assuming they're giving you a correct idea of it. But whether correct or not, it is still not in your personal experience!
Hence beware... this is not in any way to me mixed up with knowledge. Knowledge is only knowledge if it is experiential, isn't it? Otherwise it's just polished gossip. You read about guns, but you never saw one, held one or fired one. But you think you know something about it. No... it is only in your mind, rottening there while you tell yourself you're educated. My point is this: from the moment we wake up to the moment we go to bed again, our mind is serving like a trash-bin. To keep it clean and tidy, the first thing to do is stop throwing crap into it, right? Please agree that this makes sense! Your mind can be amazing if you use it the right way, but it cannot function properly when it's busy processing junk!
Once you've come into the routine of stop accepting crap into your mind, you will find that at the end of the day your mind is still overheated, even if it's less than before... still, tension remains. You have experienced a lot of things on any given day, compare to our ancestors. You met a lot of people (if your eyes met ten, then your mind noticed the other ninety), you overheard a lot of conversations, you saw a lot of things and your mind worked hard to categorize them. As if that wasn't enough, followed by your perception like a cart after a donkey came your emotions. You felt a lot of things, suppressed even more things and only expressed a few. This is why this sutra is very useful, it empties the mental USB-stick on excess files and makes room for more storage.
As you lie comfortably in your bed, close your eyes and start walking backwards until the moment you awoke this morning. Don't jump back and forth in time, just walk backwards, trying to remember as many details as possible. What did you see? What did you hear? You met someone... what was your thoughts, your emotions? Don't try to polish them up, accept them completely as they were in that moment. Slowly, walk back during the day and try to recall as many details as possible of what you experienced. Make peace with it. If you practice this, you will experience how your sleep will change. Your sleep will become peaceful and undisturbed because you have literally cleansed out your mental closet. You will awaken and feel fresh and revitalized instead of running for the coffee-machine... Try it! I recommend it.