Silencing the mind does not mean stopping to think at all. It means thinking when you need to think, but keeping the mind calm when you don’t need to think. When you can silence your mind, your ability to focus improves, you can think more clearly, your comprehension increases, and your awareness of the world around you expands.
When you want to go to the shopping mall, visit a friend, or go to work, you sit in your car, switch on the engine, and drive to your destination. When you arrive at your destination, you park your car, switch off the engine, and get out of the car. Do you leave the engine running? No, you don’t, because it is a waste of fuel and it wears off the engine.
Do you do the same with your mind? Do you stop thinking about a problem after solving it? Do you stop thinking about a task after accomplishing it?
When you hear an unpleasant remark, do you think about it for a moment and then forget about it, or do you keep thinking about it? Most people go on thinking about every comment they hear and about every unimportant incident. Sometimes, they occupy their mind with what they heard or experienced for hours afterwards.
A Story about Two Monks
This reminds me of a story I once read, about two monks, who were walking from one town to another. On their way, they arrived to a big muddy puddle, which they had to cross. A young woman was standing there, unable to make her mind whether to plunge into the water and get wet, or make a big detour. One of the monks approached here, and without hesitation, offered her to take her on his back to the other side of the puddle.
After crossing the puddle, the women got down and thanked the monk. Then, the two monks continued their journey.
A few hours of walking, the other monk, asked the one who carried the woman on his back, “How could you carry a woman on your back? We are monks, and we are not supposed to do that.”
The monk smiled and said, “I put her back down hours ago, but it seems that you have been carrying her in your mind for hours.”
Do you, like the monk that kept thinking on what the other monk did, go on thinking about every comment people make, and on every incident that you go through? This is not necessary. It is just a waste of time and energy. This behavior creates an unnecessary burden that can affect your emotional, mental and physical health.
- Suppose that your boss criticizes your work.
- You encounter a rude salesperson.
- Your plans do not work as expected.
- Someone says or does something that you do not like.
- How would you behave in these, or other similar situations?
You gain nothing when you keep thinking on every unpleasant incident, get angry or become unhappy. Wouldn’t it be better to use your time and energy for something better and more constructive? When you know how to silence your mind and keep it calm, this becomes possible.
Do you now still ask why should you bother learning to silence your mind?
The Benefits of Silencing the Mind
There are many benefits to silencing the mind, and here are a few:
1. You stop dwelling on the past, on hurts, and the things you do not like in your life. This saves you a lot of time, which you can use for doing more useful and constructive things.
2. You protect your mind and your emotional well-being from the stress and negative emotions that people project around them.
3. You protect yourself from emotional agitation, anger, frustration and other negative emotions.
4. You make better decisions and behave more wisely, because you can think clearly and calmly and without bias.
5. When a plan does not work, you do not get frustrated and angry. Instead, you start immediately exploring other options.
6. You stay calm and composed when in dangerous or difficult situations, and can therefore, handle them better and more efficiently.
7. You are able to think clearly, see things as they really are, and make better decisions.
8. Do you use creative visualization? It is easier to visualize when the mind is calm and not agitated.
9. A silent mind helps you mediate better and more deeply.
I want to emphasize and say that a silent mind is not a passive and weak mind. On the contrary, a silent mind is a strong mind, like a wonderful tool that is at your disposal to use efficiently in every situation in your life.
Imagine a raging storm and what havoc it can create. It is not much different when there is stress, agitation, constant thinking and negative emotions. Now, imagine a peaceful and beautiful place, with clear air and beautiful views, where you are calm, happy and full of energy. Where would you choose to be?
Now, you are probably asking whether it is possible to silence the mind, and how to do so.
Yes, it is possible. You can silence your mind up to a certain degree, but this requires some work and training. Are you ready to plunge into this topic?
There are various ways to train yourself, and you don’t have to be a yogi or make changes in your outer life. Even a few minutes of daily work would be useful.
I have been studying this topic for many years, and have written extensively about silencing the mind, peace of mind and inner peace, in my articles and in my books.
My book, “Peace of Mind in the Busy Daily Life”, teaches how to relieve stress and make the mind peaceful in one’s daily life. It is suitable for everyone seeking inner peace and a calm mind.
In another book, “Calm Down the nonstop Chatter of your mind”, I have provided a lot of advice, guidance and meditations for calming down the mind. It is a most practical manual for anyone who wishes to calm down his or her mind and enjoy inner peace.
These two books complement each other. You can read and study only one of them, but you will gain more if you read and study both.
Quotes about the Importance of Silencing the Mind
“Inner silence promotes clarity of mind; it makes us value the inner world; it trains us to go inside to the source of peace and inspiration when we are faced with problems and challenges.”
– Deepak Chopra
“The equivalent of external noise is the inner noise of thinking. The equivalent of external silence is inner stillness.”
– Eckhart Tolle
“Inner silence is not just the absence of thoughts. No! Silence is the blossoming of our indomitable inner will. Silence is our inner wisdom-light.”
– Sri Chinmoy
“Silence fertilizes the deep place where personality grows. A life with a peaceful center can weather all storms.”
– Norman Vincent Peale
“Before you speak, think – Is it necessary? Is it true? Is it kind? Will it hurt anyone? Will it improve on the silence?”
– Sri Sathya Sai Baba