Vrttayah Panchatayyah Klishta Aklishtah
There are five kinds of fluctuations in the mind and they can be painful or painless.
Pain or pleasure. These fluctuations are stimulus to the body and the brain. These fluctuations of pain and pleasure move deep in our energetic patterns and cause all kinds of suffering.
Sri Swami Sachidananda (yoga master and translator for the Sutras) comments that we can steer the mind away from painful fluctuations by focusing on thoughts that bring us to peace. The mind’s job is to jump from thought to thought. This is how it grows and develops, especially in the early stages (think of the easily-distracted attention of a young child). Quieting the mind takes practice. Before we get adept at emptying the mind, we can take intermediate steps. One such step is avoiding indulgence in selfish thoughts by allowing complete indulgence in selfless ones. Selfish thoughts will usually end in pain. Selfless ones have a stronger potential to bring us peace.