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How to Silence Your Mind
Posted: 6/21/2009 | Spiritual Growth Comments
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I love spending long periods of time in silence. I can take a deep breath just thinking about it. Even though I’m able to sink down into the deep quiet within, I, like most everyone, have to work with what the Buddhists call monkey mind or that on-going mental chatter. This chatter is at best our inner attempt to process what is happening in our lives and help us create a life that is full, rich and fulfilling. At its worst it is recycling fears, old interactions with people and simply staying stuck in unprocessed, unintegrated historical material.

As a psychotherapist and spiritual teacher for over 20 years I have studied and practiced many years in order to train my body and mind to actually enjoy inner stillness and silence. When I’m teaching, most people comment that their experience is that they aren’t able to silence their minds for more then a few moments. So how do we find our way to this nurturing stillness and silence?

First, working with and letting go of our historical material and these on-going thoughts and feelings, can help us settle our nervous systems down in order to have a glimpse at what is beneath all this personal information. We can do this work with our spiritual teachers, psychotherapists, or by journaling and any other form of guidance to unearth and heal these patterns.

Secondly, the other very important component is a regular meditation practice. A regular practice allows us the opportunity to, again, work with the chatter in order to experience the life affirming quiet beneath all-of-life’s goings on. Part of working with our on-going internal dialogue of life, is noticing the passing of different thoughts and feelings. We take note of the fact that some of these are more interesting to us than others, and then not attaching ourselves so tightly to any one thought or feeling.

Meditation guides us into the experience of inner spaciousness that is always available. We can finally see that we are more than our thoughts and feelings. We can experience the eternal part of us that exists beyond time and space. We sink into the depths of our being and find our deep truths. Spiritual truths must be experienced and owned beyond just an idea to have a powerful impact.

Many of us have a brief taste of this kind of expansion. We often open to the awe of life when we see a baby or watch a sunset or drink a great cup of tea. This awe can be a portal to that deeper connection.

Using the tools of exploring our unconscious historical material and a regularly meditating, can help all of us on our path to becoming all that we can be and all that we want to be. These tools help us know our inner resources, bring us back to the wholeness that is lying within and help us clarify our purpose for living.


crystalbutterfl       Posted: 6/22/2009 9:14:31 PM

Dr. Jennifer,

Where were you last week when I desperately needed this? Sigh. Thank you for the wonderful blog post on Silencing the Mind.


Gayle McCain

Gerrianne       Posted: 6/23/2009 2:22:08 PM

Hi Dr. Jennifer,

Great article and I totally subscribe to the use of meditation as a means of silencing the mind. With my clients I also suggest the use of "intentional breathing" throughout their day as a means of helping them tune into the body. The breath is the most underutilized tool to help us de-stress in the moment. When people develop a habit of deep intentional breathing throughout their day, they calm themselves down in the moment. In this busy world, I find many people resist the idea of taking time out to meditate. By getting them started on using the breath throughout their day it gives them a preview of how meditation can help and I find they are more receptive to using it in their lives.

Thanks for your insights.

Themi Garagounis       Posted: 5/19/2011 7:52:52 AM

Hi Doc, enjoyed the blog have used meditation myself and recommended it to my patients.
We all need to silence the mind from time to time to return balance back into our lives.

kindest regards
Doctor tg

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