Walking the Dogs

I am not a dog owner, but its a great video if you are.
Training the mind in meditation is much like training a couple of dogs to stay to heel. The mind tends to run ahead to the future, or dwell on the past. To develop insight we must train it to stay always in the present moment.

Tugging at the mind to try to restrain it by force is not very effective. It tends to pull harder in the wrong direction. We need to use wisdom to train it. There is no need for a battle of wills, though that is better than letting it off the leash to run wild.

One kind of untrained mind like an untrained dog is desire, lust, or greed. It runs after pleasant objects. The other untrained mind is aversion, frustration, or anger. It wants to bark at and fight with unpleasant objects. The unskilled dog owner is like delusion and ignorance.

The unskilled meditator is not able to control the mind, and is just tugged this way and that by desire and aversion. The well-trained meditator is able to control the mind by using mindfulness and wisdom. With repeated practice we can gradually learn to keep the mind calm and steady in the present moment, instead of chasing or fighting with each passing thought or feeling.

The Mind

The mind is hard to restrain, swift, it flies wherever it likes:
to control it is good. A controlled mind is conducive to happiness. (Dhp v 35)

The mind is very hard to perceive, extremely subtle, it flies wherever it likes.
Let the wise person guard it; a guarded mind is conducive to happiness. (Dhp v 36)