How to quiet your mind from racing thoughts has been a challenge for meditators for millennia.
In fact, some even claim that attaining a quiet mind is such an elusive goal that for the few who do attain a quiet mind they are considered to be a Buddha.
Once you attain a permanently quiet mind it become effortless, and not only that but also being mindful and in the “now” become automatic and effortless too.
Here’s a quote from Rainbow Painting by Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche page 78: “When there are no thoughts whatsoever then you are a Buddha. At that point the thought-free state is effortless.”
You’ll no longer need to struggle to quiet your mind, nor will you need to use techniques like distracting your mind or willing your mind to be quiet.
Why Most Methods to Quiet Your Mind Fail to be Permanent
Many people meditate to reduce stress which naturally happens when the mind slows down and becomes more peaceful.
I remember when I was a beginner with meditation it would sometimes take me an hour or more just to get my mind to stop thinking so I could have some peace.
Many of the methods to quiet your mind that you find in books and on the internet involve distracting the mind with an activity like watching your breathing, reciting a mantra, or just passively watching your thoughts float by like clouds in the sky.
Those methods can work in the short term but they give temporary results, and as soon as you stop meditating your mind will start engaging again.
Do you want to know why the mind re-engages?
One problem with mental chatter is the mind is always trying to figure things out. It’s always trying to solve some issue and it grinds away at it day and night.
The mind typically does this in several ways. One of the most common ways is by posing incessant questions. It keeps pondering and ruminating over the issues from every conceivable angle.
It often rambles away on negative criticism, blame, and worries. It wants to know “why,” and won’t stop until it gets an answer, and then it questions the answer!
Then when you try to meditate it won’t cooperate and get quiet. That’s why it is often called the “monkey mind.” It keeps jumping from one topic to another trying to resolve things and find answers.
Your Mind is On a Mission
Your mind believes it has a mission to keep you safe and secure and it believes the best way to do that is by analyzing everything. Your mind doesn’t want you to quiet your mind.
It believes its mission and purpose is to analyze and think. You were trained to do that through the educational system you grew up with and then it was further practiced in your relationships, career, and workplace.
The very idea that you can put an end to thinking is interpreted by the mind as a threat to its very purpose and to your safety and security.
In fact, the very idea of functioning without thinking seems like a crazy and impossible goal, so most people, even advanced meditators, resign themselves to a reality that their mind will gradually re-engage shortly after they meditate.
When my mind permanently and completely stopped thinking many years ago I was startled by the silence and wondered how I would be able to function. After all how do you drive a car, pay your bills, do your work, etc. if you are not thinking?
Well, you can do all of that and do it more efficiently and effectively, but your mind doesn’t have a clue how that works because the only thing it does know is the way it has been trained to function for your entire life.
I assure you the answers to that dilemma for the mind will become crystal clear once your mind goes through the shift of releasing all need to think…but don’t expect your logical, rational, thinking mind to comprehend how that is even possible.
The Big Question is How Do You Quiet Your Mind Permanently?
Is it really possible for your mind to completely quiet down? That is known as an enlightened mind or Buddha mind.
How do you quiet your mind all the time, not just when you are meditating?
Most people accept the fact that their mind is always chattering or wanting to think. In fact, the mind has even been given the name “monkey mind” because it jumps around so much.
After years of trying multiple approaches to quieting the mind I have discovered a way to enter a sustained quiet mind 24/7.
Some people don’t believe me, but try telling that to those I’ve helped get there. There are many.
This does not mean you are unable to think. Of course you can think if you choose to. What it means is there will be no uninvited thoughts or unintentional thoughts. In most cases, you’ll no longer need to think in any conventional way most people think.
What actually happens is a higher level of consciousness takes over and you automatically operate from higher awareness rather than needing to figure things out.
Believe it or not when you achieve that state your perceptions will be much more clear and unfiltered. You’ll have more peace all the time, and you’ll automatically live in the now.
I’ll give you 5 ways to attain the Buddha state of “No Mind” with no thoughts.
1. A good way to start to quiet your mind is to go into a meditative state with your eyes closed and observer your thoughts with no interaction. One of the most common suggestions for dealing with mind chatter is to think of them as clouds drifting across the sky. You observe them but don’t engage with them and in time they will diminish.
There have been times when I have done that for a long time without relief, and at other times it has worked quite quickly.
The idea behind why this is helpful is the nature of your mind is that it wants to be at peace and so the underlying nature of the mind is to be quiet. So with this approach you just relax the mind from engaging by peacefully letting the thoughts drift by without engaging with them, until the mind becomes peaceful.
As I’ve already said this is not a permanent solution, but it helps in the beginning stages to reorient the mind to being present but not engaging with anything.
2. Labeling the thoughts as they come up is another way of letting the thoughts go. Here’s what I mean. Mind chatter can come in a variety of forms so you simply say the one word to yourself that best describes what the mind is doing at that moment and then you let it go.
Some suggestions are: Thinking. Judging. Analyzing. Worrying. Planning, etc. You observe the thought and then say the word that is the best label for what your mind is doing. This is using a technique the mind likes because it is familiar with labeling things and that temporarily satisfies it. It seems that when you do this the mind interprets your stating the label as having dealt with the thought and so it disengages from it and lets it go.
3. Surrender is a process common to most religions and it is ultimately what we are seeking in meditation. Peace and oneness are qualities that underlie the activities of the mind.
When we attain a surrendered spirit we arrive at deep peace and realize our oneness with all there is because surrender dissolves the obstacles from this realization. To utilize this technique it is helpful to give yourself permission to surrender and release the distracting thoughts.
Here are some ways I have found that wording your surrender statements in a meditative state are effective:
“I surrender and release the need for this thought. I give myself permission to let go and dissolve this thought. I surrender and release all need to think.”
4. This next technique makes use of the process of dis-identification with what the mind is generating, and dis-identification is an essential part of the meditation process and what ultimately leads to an enlightened consciousness.
Here’s a little known reason why this technique works…
Every thought, feeling, and reaction you have has lifeforce energy tied up in it. This is a subtle-energy component called a “thoughtform.” Thoughtforms have up to 3 components; a belief, an emotion, and a memory.
Here is how I discovered how you can use this information...
You’re probably familiar with having a song in your mind that plays over and over. Well, this happened to me more than 30 years ago around Christmas time with the song Silent Night.
It had been playing on the radio and in stores and I couldn’t get it out of my head. It was playing day and night for three days…even when I woke up at night…and it was starting to wear on me when an idea struck me…
I thought to myself, “What if this song is a recording of some sort like a thoughtform made of subtle energy and it is not just a function of something in my brain?”
I know, some people who do not believe in subtle-energy would think this is a crazy idea, but hear me out…
I reasoned that if the song were a subtle-energy thoughtform recording it might be possible to remove it or shift it in some way. So here is what I did…
I held the intention to brush it out of my head by making passes with my hand like brushing lint off my head. I made 3 passes while holding the intention to gather all the subtle-energy in the song thoughtform with my hand and to my amazement the music stopped.
That was startling and profound!
I was finally relieved. The music stopped and I had peace of mind.
Next, I took this idea further and wondered if it would work with a song maybe it would work with other thoughts and memories as well, and to my amazement I found that it did.
For those who think everything has to be explained as a function of the physical brain, they won’t be able to make sense of this. If you are in that category I suggest you keep an open mind and try it. You don’t need to believe it will work for it to work for you.
Some neuroscientists will no doubt come up with an alternate explanation, and I don’t care if there is another explanation. I just know it works.
Here’s the technique…
This technique works particularly well on strongly distracting thoughts or feelings. Even though this method is called a visualization you don’t actually need to see anything in your mind’s eye for it to work. In fact you don’t even need to believe it will work for it to work. Your attention and intention are sufficient for this to be effective.
You utilize a creative visualization-imagination technique of putting the distracting thoughts or emotional reactions on a visualized sponge several feet in front of you. If people are involved in the memory or distracting thought, imagine putting an image of them on the sponge also.
Then you disintegrate the sponge with an imagined and visualized laser beam.
The idea of the sponge is to create something in the mind that represents absorbing and holding the energy of the distraction. You intend for the sponge to soak up and absorb all the energy of the distracting thoughts, and then you dissolve and disintegrate them.
Most of the time you’ll need to repeat that several times. If the emotion is strong you’ll need to do it many times over several days or even weeks, but each time you do it the reaction will get weaker and weaker.
If you’d like me to guide you through this method I recorded this process and some others in my Subtle-Energy Neutralizer program.
5. A variation on dis-identification is to use creative imagination to visualize a vacuum hose vacuuming the thoughts and feelings away. When I use this technique I have the vacuum hose go to the center of creation where all thoughts are neutralized.
I know that these techniques might seem like gimmicks to you, but after I used these methods for a few months all my thoughts stopped permanently. My mind is now always quiet day and night so meditation and being mindful in the present moment is very easy for me.
They work because the mind chatter is composed of subtle energy and the visualization techniques removes the layers of the energy patterns.
Just be aware it is not a quick fix. For most people it takes months of clearing out all the mental activity before the mind stays quiet.
Don’t be discouraged at it taking time. I assure you it will work. Many give up before they attain what they want.
Remember, “Mastery is worth any inconvenience it takes to attain it.”
There are any number of other techniques people use to deal with the rambling mind, and I am fully in favor of using anything that works for you.
I know that meditation purists might denigrate these mental techniques, but I would suggest that techniques are only the means to an end. They are ways of utilizing what the mind does to lead to dis-engaging the mind so a person can reach a state beyond mind.
When you were learning to ride a bike you had training wheels on the bike until you no longer needed them. The same is true of meditation techniques. Use whatever techniques work for you until you no longer need them.
I have been meditating for more than 50 years and have tried many dozens of meditative approaches and techniques and in this article I have distilled a few of the ones that I have found that have worked well for me in quieting all analysis and mental chatter.
At some point in a committed practice the mind will not offer anything uninvited and there will a profound and sustained deep peace, contentment, and love.
That may take you months of dedicated practice to attain, but knowing it is possible will give you an incentive that you can attain it as well.
I have a free video for you on How To Erase Your Negative Thoughts & Toxic Emotions
This free video teaches you my simple “surrender” technique to positively rewire your brain, instantly which helps you eliminate anger, fear, frustration, guilt, or depression from your life. You will…
- Discover how to banish toxic emotions and replace them with inner peace and calm using my proven 30-second heart centered technique
- Learn how to attain lasting happiness and satisfaction by letting go of everything that is holding you back with my unique “release mantra”
- Find out how simple it can be to decrease stress, improve relationships and feel optimistic during this free 20-minute video
- Choose an issue to let go of so you can stop attracting the very same situations and find lasting happiness
If you would like me to help you personally on your spiritual journey please let me know. I have the ability to see subtle-energy and can accelerate your clearing through my private sessions and retreats.
Also at my healing retreats I guide you with a number of other methods I have discovered and created that help take you where you want to go spiritually. I usually do clearing and healing retreats in the Spring and Fall each year, but I can do phone sessions with you anytime.
You’ll find more information here: Retreats with Jonathan