In all my years on the path, no one introduced me to the Idea Horse. He is a close relative to the Monkey Mind, a term most American Buddhists and yogis are familiar with. Both represent the racing thoughts, the distracted mind, the things people wish they could silence with meditation.
The problem is, it is the nature of the monkey to swing through the trees.
And it is the nature of horses to run.
So how do we love the racing horse mind?
Observe with compassion, experience with good humor. Just as riders use soft hands when reining in a young horse or he will go straight up and rear, you should use soft hands on your racing mind and it will slow to a sweet jog. Leg it on with resentment or fear and it takes off again, you lose the reins and cannot get yourself collected. In the awareness of Jizo, you are the galloping horse and the Earth beneath the horse’s feet. Ground the horse. Ground yourself.
Those of us who love horses relate to them in this way. It is an honor to ride something so majestic and powerful. And like a horse, we may ride our powerful minds. It takes great skill to have unity with a horse, to see what they see, to react as instinctively as they do. So too must we develop these skills with the Idea Horse.
Listen to his ideas at a walk or jog. When he gallops, whoa him until you can ride with skill, choosing when to go fast and when to go slow. Until there is choice, just pause. And pause again. Then, you can listen with equanimity rather than being overwhelmed with blurred thoughts and vision.
Found your blog through the Elephant Journal post on FB and am finding it very useful and grounding. This image of gently reining the horse is very helpful. Pray, continue your work!
Thanks for your encouragement! It is a vast place into which we throw words and stories — always happy when they land and are heard. …and helpful.