Q: It has been said that an individual has control over his mind. Does this mean that outside minds can still influence an individual’s mind and thought process? How can we control this and be liberated from anger and depression?
Swamiji: Nice question. Do you have control over your mind?
Questioner: Sometimes I find it difficult…
Swamiji: Alright. This is the answer that I get from almost everyone. The statement that an individual has control over the mind, is only said, never practiced and never experienced. Next, outside minds can influence the individual’s mind and thought process. Are you married?
Swamiji: Then you will agree that your husband can very well influence your thought process. This influence happens not only through words from him, but even otherwise it happens! For example, let us say you want to come here for meditation. You tell him you want to go for meditation. He doesn’t protest, but he puts on a long face. Just the memory of his face can influence your meditation here. When you are sitting here, you will be meditating on his long face! Even if he is not in town when you come here, just the memory of his long face, just the energy that he radiated when you asked for permission on an earlier occasion is enough – you will fall into a low mood here when you are meditating. So understand, others can influence your mind without even expressing their thoughts.
Questioner: How do we control these influences of mind so as to avoid anger and depression?
Swamiji: Through meditation! You are just like an onion. If you peel the onion layer by layer, what is there inside? Just emptiness! The onion thinks it has got something solid, but when it is opened layer by layer, it is empty. Similarly, man thinks that he is the individual consciousness, but if we peel the individual layers, he will experience he is the cosmic consciousness, the collective consciousness! This is the one and only way to prevent anger or depression that sneaks into your consciousness from others, through others, by others. As you meditate, your awareness will increase and you will start becoming a witness of the individual consciousness. Anything that you witness will dissolve into the cosmic consciousness.
source: Living Enlightenment