Ask Azim: How to silence the mind?

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“I’ve tried meditation, but find it very difficult to silence my thoughts. Can you please give me some tips on the correct way to meditate?”

Meditation is essentially an act of non-doing so don’t force yourself to repress or silence anything. Even if you do, it will rise up again later.

Also, if your mind is racing too much or you are too disturbed, sitting down for meditation will be like stomping a lid on a pressure cooker. You will end up feeling more irritable or explosive.

Because the very nature of energy is to flow, it will always look for an outlet for expression.

The important thing to remember here is there is a deep connection between your body and the mind. The state of one affects the other. So if you cannot find an outlet to express your thought energy, find an outlet to express your physical energy. A 20-minute bout of intense physical activity like running or even active breathing exercises like pranayama can help in letting go of all that restless chaotic energy. Eventually, you will not only calm your body but also significantly relax the mind.

Then sit down in a nice quiet spot to meditate. You can start by focusing on your breath or a word or mantra or even on the sounds around you. If your mind wanders again, don’t fight it or try to control it. Simply bring back your attention to your breath, every time it happens.

Gradually with practice, you will see that your thoughts start settling down on your own accord.

The most important thing to remember about meditation, and about training your mind for that matter, is practice. Hence, whatever the case, remember to spend a minimum of 20 minutes daily.

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