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How to Silence Your Inner Chatter

Mental silence, or stillness, is a quality that runs as a common denominator throughout all the mystic and spiritual traditions. It was taught by Christ in the New Testament, heavily referenced by Paramahansa Yogananda in his book Autobiography of a Yogi, and continually touched upon in all of the books that came out of Carlos Castaneda in his apprenticeship with the mystical Don Juan. It is both a necessary quality for meditation, and the end result of a disciplined path of meditation.
Stillness is also one of the last things that the mind wants to do. In fact, it could be argued that to be still is the ONE THING that the mind will resist doing more than anything else. There are several reasons for this. For one, our society is completely based upon intellectualism, language, and the constant absorption of incoming information and stimuli. We have stuff flying at us all the time, promising us the benefit of learning something new, understanding what is going on in the world, and sometimes just pure entertainment. We do this so much that we don’t even question whether or not it could be another way. The mind moves from one thing, to the next thing, to the next thing, without ever taking a break or questioning itself.
More than this constant internal noise and intellectualism being habitual, it is also deeply connected with survival. We feel that it is necessary to be constantly thinking, constantly hashing things over in our minds, solving problems, anticipating future scenarios, and reinforcing our values, opinions, and beliefs. Think about whether or not you could live the life you live now, without thinking at all, with a completely still mind. Notice any anxiety or resistance that comes up? We literally believe that we could not live without our intellect. And very few muster the courage to question that belief…

Why Develop Mental Stillness?

The ability to silence your inner chatter is like the ability to step into another world. It is where the spiritual journey stops being something that you read about in books, hear about from “experts,” or think to death in your mind.

One of the biggest issues we face in the world of new age spirituality is the fact that people have confused thinking with experience.

To a certain extent, we all believe that by inserting more intellectual knowledge into our heads, hashing it over, and forming opinions, ideals, and beliefs out of it, that we are making spiritual progress. This couldn’t be any further from the truth. The true journey of mastery and spiritual awakening, whether one is using the path of yoga or another path, is about releasing beliefs, letting go of opinions, and detaching from the constant stream of internal dialogue and rationality. It is not about adding more, thinking harder, and juggling different belief systems in our mind.

In the ultimate reality of our experience, our opinions and neat little ideas about what we know don’t mean anything at all. 

When you attain even a small degree of true mental stillness, this becomes blazingly obvious. In stillness one is able to simply “see.” One can just observe themselves, free of words, concepts, and symbols. The noise of the mind is nothing more than a limitation, and the compulsion to define and describe everything as it occurs does nothing more than remove its true nature from your awareness. In silence we finally regain the ability to just see things as they are, to understand what true knowledge is, to let the limitless reality of the moment reveal itself to us in all of its glory, unhindered by the limitation of rationality.
But aside from all that, the very second true stillness is attained, there comes a sense of peace, joy, and relaxation unparalleled through any other means. This is what is sometimes referred to as “the peace of God.”


How to Silence Your Inner Chatter and Find Mental Stillness

There are many paths that all lead to the same end goal: this ability to observe oneself and reality without the thoughts interfering from that observation. Consider these methods of gaining inner silence:

1. Mantra Yoga
Mantra Yoga is an ancient method for focusing the mind one-pointedly and drowning out the noise of internal dialogue. Many believe that the ancient Sanskrit syllables have great power in them; that they are more than just words, but actually intentions that produce specific results. Those of us who practice speaking consciously and thoughtfully are already aware of the power of words, and I personally do think there is merit to the idea that these ancient mantras have inherent power in them.
It can be easy, however, for people to lose sight of mantra yoga’s true value. It is not just about “if I recite this magical word X amount of times, I will gain merit, or burn karma, or get some desired result.”

The true value in using a mantra is its ability to help silence the mind. 

It is important that you pick a mantra that resonates with you, that feels good. When you recite it, either out loud or in your mind, make sure you are giving the recitation your 100% full attention. Let all other things fade into the background as the mantra becomes the focal point. Pay attention to the subtleties of each symbol, and with every recitation, focus the mind solely on the mantra and nothing else. In the pause between saying the mantra, continue to focus your awareness, and let the mind be silent. Pay just as much attention to the quiet spaces between the sounds as the sound itself.
You can even focus the mantra in a particular chakra, like the heart or the third eye. You may also use traditional Mala beads to focus, but this is not necessary.
Recommended read: How to Use and Select a Mala to Enhance Your Meditation Practice

2. Clear the Blockages
There is great value in the preliminary steps of the traditional yogic path. When one embarks upon the path of Yoga, they are first advised to make certain changes to their diet, and to master purification techniques that help clear physical phlegm from the body, and its astral counterpart that manifests as blockages in the energy system. This really makes a huge difference in one’s ability to concentrate and attain internal quiet!
I learned the power of this during my first colon cleanse. I had already been a meditator for a few years, and a steady practitioner of Pranayama breathing. About a week into my cleanse, after releasing some serious stuff, I realized that a HUGE change had occurred in my meditation. I was suddenly able to attain a quiet that I’d never experienced before, and it came naturally, rather than being forced.
In this day and age we have much more of a need to clear our body of mucus and toxins than ever before, but we also have much more modern, powerful, and sophisticated methods for doing so. I recommend that any serious spiritualist or Yogi become a master at the art of cleansing, and especially the colon, liver, and kidneys. This will enable you to attain a state of mental focus that you may not have known you had in you. My previous article, Energy Management Techniques Part 1 discusses these concepts a bit more in-depth.


Flex the Muscle!

Just like any other endeavor, concentration of this kind is like a muscle that must be exercised regularly, consistently, and diligently.

The way we constantly ramble on in our minds with noise is a learned and conditioned way of being.

So is the way of being silent inside.
Begin by setting a solid intention to see this through. Pick one time of the day (I recommend either in the morning or at night before going to bed) to practice silencing the mind. Start out with just one minute. You can do one minute!
After being able to hold this silence for one minute, move it to two, then gradually move it to 5. Once you’ve reached 5, I’d recommend increasing the frequency throughout the day. Move on to taking 5 minutes twice per day, then three times per day. Eventually you can aim to take 2-5 minutes every hour throughout the day to stop, be still, and focus your awareness. After this, you can then begin to extend meditation times into 10, 15, 30 minutes.

A New Way of Being

This is just like a rocket breaking through the atmosphere. If you continue to practice consistently, one day it will become effortless, and when you make it there, you have reached the gateway into a new way of being. This is the next step; the next level of your spiritual awakening, and it is just the beginning! At this place, you no longer need to think about spiritual truths, they reveal themselves to you in the silence you’ve created. You no longer need to make value judgements, or compare theories and philosophies about truth; it is there for you to plainly see.
And you will have found a peace, a safety, and heaven for yourself that you will never lose again.

This article has been read 20K+ times. Bada bing!


wonderful comments!

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Ashton Aiden

Ashton is a life coach and the founder of BrainWaveLove, an embodiment of his desire to help people find practical, effective ways for manifesting their dreams, and experiencing success in all realms of life. You can download Ashton's free Ebook, Missing Keys To The Art Of Manifestation on his blog.

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