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Peace is a state of mind that many of us are constantly searching for. Quieting the mind is something we aim to grasp throughout our day, week or year. And sometimes, it can even be a lifetime pursuit. But the truth is, peace is right at our doorstep.

We have always had access to quieting our minds but just don’t know how to bring this practice forward to our conscious. It’s accessible, uncomplicated, and effortless – you just need to know what to look for.

To find peace, we should avoid preoccupying ourselves with using our physical senses. Busying our minds is distracting and takes us down the wrong path.

To access peace, you must first use your awareness while also focusing on your intention.

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What is a Quiet Mind?

A quiet mind is the absence of attention. For many of us, we seek this silence and peace by embarking on vacations and trying to escape our everyday lives. Perhaps we venture into the ocean, go for a hike in the mountains, or even read a book. Any technique we can grasp to be free of our normal lives.

In the cultivation of a quiet mind, serene surroundings are of great assistance but they are not the solution.

But the truth is, a quiet mind is one that allows for the sound of silence to exist within, rather than only on the surface. As mentioned, peace is already within us, we just don’t know how to access it.

In Hinduism, silent meditation is a common way to access this stillness. By becoming the witness, the observer can see that there is an ‘unchanging knower’ behind the always busy mind. 

It is misleading to say that a quiet mind is a mind where there are no thoughts. Because the lack of thought is essentially impossible. Thoughts are always there, we just have to learn to keep them quiet.

A quiet mind is a mind where we do not pass judgment on the thoughts that do appear.

Thinking is the job of our minds or, the job of our intellects.

The human intellect takes the information from the outside world and transforms it through perception. For example, when looking out at the ocean we can become captivated by the sounds and colors that surround us. This is how we absorb information from the outside world and internalize it. Other examples of this internalization can be creating ideas, learning languages, communicating with others, and even learning how to cook.

For a truly quiet mind, existence would have to cease altogether.

Even a monk isolated in the mountain tops will have thoughts!

Quiet Mind What Happens When You Stop Thinking All the Time | Silence | Blue Osa Yoga Retreat

It’s essential to recognize that thoughts are part of our existence and always will be. But the golden rule is that we don’t need to obey each one of our thoughts.

We have a tendency to enslave ourselves by assigning value to the thoughts that appear in our minds. For example, ‘not everyone can be successful,’ ‘I’m not cut out for this,’ ‘I can’t do this as well as him/her/them….’

We create ideas in our minds to create an illusion of safety. We do this to protect ourselves from humiliation or rejection. And then, we live by these default values that guide us away from our purpose.

Through silence, we can take the time to notice how the mind interprets the world around us.

Our thoughts are not eternal truths. They come, and they go, like the ocean’s changing tides. And we do not need to go with them.

How to Quiet Your Mind?

Silent meditation, as well as silence in general, is becoming a lost practice. So we must ask ourselves: “How do I quiet my mind?

It starts with the practice of ‘outer silence’. By making time in our day to put aside our electronic devices and detach ourselves from the outside world, we make room for introspection.

Inner silence’ occurs when there is self-realization, not the elimination of thought altogether.

As silence comes to the forefront of our minds, other thoughts take backstage. They are no longer relevant, no longer have value and no longer have an impression.

Practice daily silence

Start with just five minutes to practice daily silence. Then work your way up to more extended periods of time. A great way to keep yourself accountable is by telling your friends and family about your idea. Trust that you will have their support. Who knows, maybe they will even want to join you!

Giving those around you a heads-up reduces the distractions you may encounter from the outside world.

Meditate Like A Monk

Here are some tips to follow to help you with the distractions from the inside world:

1- Find a comfortable place

Begin by sitting in a chair or on a cushion. You can even try lying on the bed, floor, or yoga mat. Choose whatever feels right for you. The idea is to select a location where you can maintain your silent meditation practice.

2- Take a few deep breaths to slow down an overactive mind

At first, this can be a challenging task. So don’t be too hard on yourself. If you’re feeling resistant about this practice, don’t force it. Pause and focus on your breath. Bring awareness to what you are feeling instead of what you think. You may be feeling sadness, anger, or maybe even anxiety. Remember that this is okay; meditation takes practice.

3- Where are your thoughts coming from? 

When you focus on what thoughts appear in your mind, trace them. Track them down to their origins. Think about what triggered this thought.

Perhaps you are trying to run from something that is causing you pain. Think about what you are trying to protect yourself from. This could be past trauma, stressful work life, or even anxiety about the future.

4 – Counter negative thoughts with positive affirmations

Not everything you think is true. You are not your mind. Many negative thoughts you may be telling yourself are lies that can be counteracted. They combat negative ideas, and limit these thoughts with positive affirmations.

If you are feeling lost in your life and need help to get started with meditation, try this introduction to manifesting and living your life purpose course. 

5 – Accept that thoughts are impermanent, and feelings will pass

Emotions such as stress and anxiety do not define you. Feeling pressure is okay, and it is normal to feel anxious. These feelings hold no truth about you, and they will pass. Don’t push these feelings away to help assist in making these feelings pass. Instead, think about where they are coming from and try and uncover the root of these thoughts. In a moment of anxiety, remember that this feeling is temporary.

6 – Talk about your beliefs with someone

Once you’ve identified the feelings and stories that have been holding you back, it can be empowering to say it out loud. Discuss it with a friend, your family or someone you feel comfortable with.

Explore your strength through vulnerability, and you will be surprised how you can let go by being raw. You never know; the person you speak with may even help you create new, empowering beliefs!

Why You Need to Stop Thinking

Steady your mind in noble silence, unify your mind in noble silence, concentrate your mind on noble silence.

SutTas 21.1

When thoughts ‘disappear,’ they are simply no longer in our awareness. This disappearance creates a simulation of not thinking and, therefore, a state of inner peace. There is no strain, no energy depletion. It simply disappears.

If thoughts appear in your mind in the form of song lyrics, do you question them? You think about them, but don’t always engage with them through physical activity.

For example, Singin’ in the Rain. If you hear this phrase you are probably not going to drop everything, go outside, and belt out song lyrics. Instead, you think about this phrase but move on.

Well, I guess it depends on the song!

You just go with it. You usually can track the origin of that thought easily – “heard it last night on the radio, my friend played it a week ago at her house…

Why not treat the other thoughts the same way? You can change the song, aren’t you?

You are not at discord with yourself when you start to realize that, just like the song lyrics floating around your head, nothing is permanent, and everything is changeable.

Swami Satchidananda, the founder of Integral Yoga Institute, explains:

When you are silent, there are no quarrels.” We can interpret this in a number of ways. But I like to think that it means ‘When you are silent you are not in disagreement with yourself.’

Swami Satchidananda

To get to the peaceful place of self-agreement, all we really need is a little dose of silence in our daily life. 

Quiet Mind What Happens When You Stop Thinking All the Time | How to Quiet your Mind | Blue Osa Yoga Retreat

Quiet Mind Helps You to Live in Authenticity

When you quiet the mind, you can determine your values, your standards, and the right decisions for you.

As the world we create in our minds falls away with silence, we can discover that all we need is self-validation and not the approval of others.

When the mind is quiet, there is no competition. There are no comparisons with what others are doing. You simply be. In silence, there is no desire to please someone else. Silence strips away that part of the ego that keeps us enslaved in the roles we play in society.

In silence, there is no hierarchy. There is just pure freedom to be whoever you are beyond a label placed on you by society. We can accept what we know and what we still want to learn. We can accept that events around us will naturally unfold no matter our thoughts.

Right now, you hold the power of  ‘equanimity.’ A mental calmness can arise during a stressful situation. It’s there, you just need to access it.

Equanimity is not about the suppression of thoughts or feelings. It is about being ok with how a situation unfolds or how we feel at any given moment.

Now is the time to incorporate silent meditation into your everyday life. As a self-care practice, meditation has the power to transform your life. Enjoy stillness just like any other self-care ritual…

Understand that you don’t need to force yourself to stop thinking, and thinking does not need to create suffering for you.

When hearing and what is heard are both forgotten, the sense of hearing leaves no impression in the mind.” – Guanyi