How to Overcome a Distracted Mind

I have a very distracted mind. What would you recommend for someone like me? Could you give some very simple practices to overcome distraction of the mind?

First of all, it's very good that you recognize the distraction. Now, you just have to take back the mind. That's what it is. That's very good.  

Many people just don't really recognize their distractions, thinking they are doing a great job, never getting distracted. When we want to develop more one-pointedness of mind, then it's important to focus upon virtues. That's the basis of why we want to have a single-pointed state of mind - in order to focus on virtue.  

We are not presently habituated with virtues, right? If we get ‘distracted’ by virtues, that would be better. When we get distracted by non-virtue, we have to work on taming our minds. It is very difficult to focus single-pointedly on virtue if the mind is not tamed. Moreover, when doing calm-abiding (shamatha) meditation, whether it is calm-abiding abiding on the basis or calm-abiding as a support, we need to be guided properly by a fully qualified guru. You can’t just do all of that on your own. If we are single-pointedly focused without having a virtuous mind, focused only on developing strong types of concentration, it’s not of much use. That would be like sleeping all night after we close our eyes. Therefore, we need to fine tune our mind. Neither too tightly nor too loosely, we need to slowly habituate our own mind.  

We should consider, “What is this mind and what are the objects that my distraction goes towards?” Then we should see them, with the correct view, as having no essence. There is a way to place the mind on virtue, a correct way. Only then will it abide there, but this has to be taught by a teacher. When the mind wanders spontaneously in the direction of non-virtue, we have to tie it up, like tying up a horse. Whether we can stay single pointedly on virtue or not is a matter of habituation. Then, when potential pitfalls arise like inner and outer obstacles of the channels and winds, when excitement and laxity arise, the teacher can expertly guide us.