Some people cannot stop thinking at all and they do not know what to do. When they let their mind wander, it never stops. They have never trained their mind. Thoughts will arise continuously and there is no way of getting rid of them.
If we have already trained our mind, we will stand a better chance of stopping those thoughts. Therefore Samathabhavana (Concentration development) brings peace and Vipassana meditation (meditation of Insight) brings wisdom.
To understand one’s mind and emotions leads to detachment from them. Wisdom which follows will make us penetrate through the length and depth of the mind and when a vision of Truth appears, we will experience the purity of our mind.
Just learning how to concentrate will lead to all understanding. According to the Buddha’s teaching to only know one’s mind is enough.
Knowing other things will not bring peace: suffering will still be with us. Only experiencing the peaceful mind can bring cessation of suffering. To know the right thing is meritorious. Both Heaven and Nibbana are within the peaceful mind.
So in order to study a religion, we must start from the mind. If the mind is peaceful, whatever we read will be effective, whatever we listen to will be clearly comprehended. The Buddha’s teaching of the Dhamma will be understood in great detail.
Whatever we hear from someone, we will understand because our mind is clear. Moreover, we will take delight in the Dhamma and take it to our heart. People whose mind is not peaceful do not like the Dhamma and incline towards restlessness. With their preoccupations to know about other people’s business, they do not want to know themselves.
To be peaceful involves the desire to know oneself, to examine oneself. We make a lot of effort to view our own mind because we value peace as a good thing which brings us happiness.