How to Quiet Your Mind
We get emails from visitors to this site and our other websites
which have meditation-related content. The most common questions
asked area about how to stop the endless chatter in the mind
during meditation. Stop it? Not likely; but it can be reduced,
so let's look at how to quiet your mind.
Deepak Chopra answers questions about meditation and other
matters on one of Oprah's websites. Here is what he had to say
recently on Oprah.com;
In meditation, any attempt to quiet the mind using force
won't work. The everyday mind is full of thoughts, feelings,
sensations, worries, daydreams and fantasies. But at a deeper
level, the mind begins in silence. Finding that level deeper
than thought is the essence of meditation.
He went on to suggest that you enter into the process of meditation
without expectations--not an easy task in itself. As he says;
Sometimes the mind is too active to settle down. Sometimes
it settles down immediately. Sometimes it goes quiet, but the
person doesn't notice. Anything can happen.
Chopra also suggested that you give up meditation techniques
which are not helping you to quiet your mind. In other words,
try something new if what you are doing is not resulting in a
transcendence of your everyday though processes. This can mean
mantra meditation, watching your breath, object meditation or
another technique. You can find some of these discussed on other
pages of this website--check the homepage for links to those.
Take it easy on yourself when you are having trouble quieting
your thoughts. If you become upset it is because consciously
or unconsciously you have some expectations about how things
should be going (this is true in life as well as in meditation,
by the way). Just do your best and watch what happens. Adjust
course as necessary and see if that helps.
Now, here are some general tips to help you quiet your mind...
- Meditate in a quiet place.
- Let others know that you do not want to be disturbed.
- Resolve anything that is occupying your mind before you
start; make that call, put that task on a list so you can stop
thinking about it, and so on.
- Eat if you are too hungry to concentrate.
- Whether you focus on your breathing, a mantra, or on silence
itself, just keep returning to that focus when your thoughts
wander. Don't fight the thoughts or worry about your "failure"
to quiet your mind. To think more about your thinking is counterproductive.
Return your focus to the meditation and let happen what happens.