Words of Wisdom by Swami Satchidananda
- Quiet the Mind
"How do we quiet the flow of thoughts? That's a very
good practical question. When thoughts are rushing in,
you can't just stop the thoughts immediately. Instead,
develop one particular thought. Out of these thousands
of thoughts, pick up onea good thought that won't
ultimately bind youa prayer or a mantra, or a thought
of a holy image or a holy person. The more you develop
and strengthen that one thought, the more the other
thoughts get weakened. By this development, one day you
will see that you have only one thought and no other
thoughts. This one thought, being a superior kind of
thought, which will not bind you, ultimately loses its
strength also, and you can become thoughtless.
"God bless you. OM Shanti, Shanti, Shanti."
- Watch your mind. Watch your breath. Become an observer, which is the key to Jnana Yoga. Don’t worry about particular techniques. Just sit back and observe the breath, mind, and thoughts. Just see what’s happening within you. Become a witness, which is a wonderful form of meditation. Be still and watch what is happening in your mind and in your body. Maybe you have been repeating a mantra or focusing on one object for a time. You may then relax and sit calmly and watch the mind; observe the peaceful vibrations that come. Listen to the silence completely. Observe your own brain. See how peaceful you are. The mind seems to be totally at rest. You might think the mind is almost asleep, yet you are still conscious of the whole thing. The body is resting. The breath has very much slowed. The mind is almost sleeping but you are aware of everything.
Ask yourself, “Who is aware of them? What is this awareness? Who knows all these things? That is You, the Knower. You are totally different from your body, from your mind. You are the witness—what you call the Self, the pure Self—the witness of the body and mind. If you could maintain this witnessing constantly, still knowing you are the witness all the time, you would reach Self-awareness or
Self-realization. Keep up this awareness, even in your day-to-day activities. When you are eating, when you are walking, and especially when you are distressed, you can still witness. You will constantly enjoy supreme peace. Through this practice you become the master of your own body and mind. You’ll walk through life like an undisturbed sage.