The mind is like a screen which is projected upon from both sides. From the inside it receives all the projections and fantasies, fears and hopes, day dreams and continuous though chatter of our inner mental world. From the outside it receives all the sense impressions, sight, smell, touch, engagement with the world and so on. The usual scenario is that mind is so caught up, identified with these two activities, that it never gets to know itself apart from them. Who are you if not your thoughts? What do you know that is not from the outer world of experience?
And yet, mind has a distinct existence without a screen there is no film. Yoga is about the mind finding a way to know itself.
As we practice asana, the body provides experience for the mind, if however, we focus our mind on the breath, then it is not so pre occupied with the sense experience coming from the outside world, we are able to separate mind from experience. At the same time, by focusing our attention on the breath, with its steady 4 part activity, we calm the continuous mental chatter, our mind no longer identifies with that either. In this way , the mind is gently untangled from the world of experience and thought, a small space is created. In this small space, like a gap in the projection, we can actually sense the existence of mind that is neither thought, nor experience. With practice we can enlarge this area of our being, or sense its presence more often.
The unusual thing is that the discovery of mind/self/I as a state we can access at will, is that it is not devoid of quality, it is as if , the liberation of mind from the chains of thought/experience leads to a state of unlimitedness and freedom which is experienced as joy. We discover our essence as joyful light. Amazing! Love for others arises as a natural extension of this condition.