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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;

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.

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