If the yogi disregards the initial difficulty of controlling his errant thoughts and meditates perseveringly, he will gradually become conscious of a lessening of the thought-flow, and find it much easier to control than before. In the beginning, wild thoughts gush forth like torrents; but now the flow begins to move slowly like gentle ripples on a wide, calm river. When the yogi has reached this stage, he will probably encounter many unusual experiences; he will see strange visions, hear celestial sounds, smell fragrant odors, and so forth. Most of these visions, according to Tantric analysis, are produced by the Pranas stimulating the different nerve centers. Many of them are of a delusory nature. The yogi is repeatedly warned by his Guru that he should never pay any attention to them; otherwise he will be misled and go astray.
“In the middle of the fifth month of my stay in the House, one day, during my meditation, a spider appeared at a distance of a few feet from my nose. I did not pay any attention to it at the time.
“A few days passed, during which the spider did not vanish, but came closer and closer to my face. Annoyed by its constant presence, I tried in many ways to get rid of it. First, I meditated on Compassion — sending all my good will to the spider; but it would not go away. Then I called for help from the Protector-of-Dharma, and recited his fierce Mantrum in the hope of exorcizing the spider, but that was not effective either. Then I tried to meditate on the illusoriness of all beings, and to understand that this spider was not real, but merely a figment of my own imagination. Even this was of no use.
“A few more weeks then passed, in which, despite all my efforts to drive it away, the spider grew larger and larger, and moved closer and closer to my nose. Eventually it became so large and so close, and frightened me to such an extent, that I could no longer meditate. I then reported the whole experience to my Guru.
“He said to me smilingly, ‘Well, it seems that you have tried everything that can possibly be done. I don’t think there is anything I can do for you in this case. What would you do next?"
“This so upset me that I said, ‘If nothing can help, I have no choice but to kill the spider with a dagger, for as things now stand I cannot meditate nor can the spider derive any benefit from me. Although killing any sentient being is a crime forbidden by our Lord Buddha, the important thing now is that I cannot carry on my pursuit of Enlightenment due to this hindrance. I thus fail both myself and the spider. On the other hand, if I kill the spider, my hindrance will be overcome. Then once more I will have a chance to win Enlightenment, which will certainly bring true happiness to all concerned.'
“My Guru answered, ‘Do not be in a hurry! Do not kill the spider today. Wait until tomorrow. Now listen carefully, and do what I say. Go back to your room and meditate again. When the spider appears, mark a cross on its belly with a piece of chalk. Then come back here and see me once more.'
“I followed his instructions and upon the appearance of the spider, marked the cross on its belly as he had bidden me. Then I returned to his room and said, 'Dear Lama, I have done as you told me.'
“My Guru replied, ‘Now let down your shirt!’ I was very puzzled, but obeyed him. Thereupon he pointed to the lower part of my belly, and said, ‘Look for yourself!* I lowered my head and looked. There, to my astonishment, I saw a cross marked in chalk! If I had stabbed the supposed spider, I would have killed myself!"
Therefore, one must learn to control the reactions of the mind. Rather than responding with instinct and emotion, respond with serene observation.
In the interim, as you develop your ability to remain serene when facing disturbing experiences, it is advisable to do regular cleansings with incense, sage, the egg, etc. in order to reject negative entities. But do not become like those who do cleansings or rituals but remain afraid! Remember:
"No evil entity can attach itself to us unless we attract it by thought or by being negative in our actions." —Dayspring of Youth