Mindset Weekly Article 5 – Meditation vs Silence the Mind
Following on from my last article on the Amygdala and the technique that I prefer to use to reset it, Silence the Mind. I have been asked what the difference is between Silence the Mind and Meditation. And, for those that haven’t heard or experienced the Silence the Mind Technique, I will guide you through the process at the end.
Meditation is a process where a person focuses their attention and awareness to develop concentration and a peaceful, calm awareness and mental clarity. This is achieved by focusing on a particular thought, object or musical tone, such as a Tibetan Bowl or humming a mantra (Ohm) repeatedly. Meditation often conjures up images of people sitting in the Lotus position with their legs crossed and feet resting on their thighs. A position also associated with yoga. The object of meditation is not to turn off the thoughts or feelings but to be aware of them without judgment.
Meditation has been practised for thousands of years, with records dating back 5,000 years in India and 3,000 years in China, where the original practice of meditation was strongly linked to religious traditions and beliefs. The purpose of meditation was to follow a path of practice towards enlightenment and self-realisation – to know yourself.
For me, I first became aware of Transcendental Meditation in 1967 when ‘The Beatles’ met Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, a meditation teacher from India, who was touring the UK as part of a world tour to spread the ‘word’ of ‘meditation.’ The 1960s and ’70s was a time of the ‘Hippy’ culture, flower power, long hair, barefoot, wearing beads and smoking marijuana, with common sayings such as; ‘far out man,’ ‘peace brother,’ ‘ban the bomb’ and ‘make love, not war.’
Hippies were rebellious, breaking away from the restrictions of society, going on ‘marches’ to protest and express their feelings towards the government, ‘save the planet’ and ‘free speech.’ They were looking for spiritual guidance to questions that the Christian religion couldn’t answer and turned to Buddhism and other Eastern religions. They also turned to drugs (marijuana, LSD) to hallucinate and get so-called head trips as a way to expand their consciousness and see things differently. Eventually, through the study of Buddhism, meditation allowed people to quieten their mind and find a sense of peace and tranquillity that didn’t require drugs.
Today, meditation is practised by millions of people, gaining popularity through the advertisement by celebrities, sports professionals including many successful business people, as a way to enhance performance, concentration and a way to reduce stress, anxiety, pain and other health benefits.
Whenever people talk to me about meditation, everyone without fail has trouble concentrating; either being disturbed and distracted with noises going on around them or have that ‘little voice’ in their head asking questions. The practice of meditation takes time to achieve this peaceful, calm awareness. If results aren’t experienced quickly then, people give up. However, there are many apps, CDs and YouTube products that can help guide you into this peaceful frame of mind.
Silence the Mind, however, is a simple, fast and effective way to shut down that inquisitive voice and silence the mind of chitter-chatter instantly. While following the Silence the Mind process, you have no inner voice distracting you and, you are aware of any external noises.
We are more than just flesh and blood, and so, I like to look at the term ‘Human Beings’ as a combination of two things that complete us. The ‘Human’ aspect refers to our physiology, our ability to move around and interact with the world. The ‘Being’ aspect refers to our mind and to just ‘Be’ - silent.
Our world has become so fast-paced, everything is getting faster, quicker, we need things done now and everything is rush, rush, rush to meet deadlines and targets. Communication is instantaneous and we’re constantly being bombarded with calls, texts, emails, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram…… But we don’t give ourselves a moment of quality time to just ‘Be’ silent, to be at peace with ourselves, to connect with who we are.
Silence the Mind – 10-minute Procedure
Firstly, turn off your phone and use the toilet if you need to. Give yourself the quality time that you deserve so you won’t be interrupted.
Choose a regular time that you can commit to spending 10 minutes on yourself. The subconscious mind likes regularity, familiarity and patterns.
Initially, it is good to practice this process in a quiet place so that you get familiar with it. A spare room at home, the bedroom or a quiet office. Try and make sure that you won’t be disturbed, and that you’re away from children, pets or disturbing people.
It is important to tell yourself that you’re going to follow this process for 10 minutes or however long you intend to do it for. When you get comfortable following this process, sometimes, your brainwave frequencies can change so quickly that you consciously lose track of time. Just like when you’re day-dreaming, you’re not aware that you’re doing it until you open your eyes. Your subconscious doesn’t sleep and so by expressing just how long you intend to do this process will keep you on track – even if you do drift off.
You do not need to sit in the lotus position with legs crossed in order to achieve a peaceful frame of mind. Sitting comfortably on a chair with feet flat on the floor, sitting upright is a good relaxed position. Do not lay on the bed to practice this – you will fall asleep!
Breathe in and out through your nose. Take the same amount of time breathing in as you breathe out, breathing silently so that you can’t hear it at all. Don’t force or hold the breath at any point but do allow your stomach to rise and fall as you breathe in and out. Don’t try and count in order to gauge if you’re taking the same amount of time to breathe in and out – just breathe!
When you breathe in and out, I want you to imagine that you’re breathing up through your body on the in-breath, from your feet, right up to your head. And, breathing back down through your body on the out-breath, from your head, all the way down through your body to your feet.
Now that we have that wave of breathing going up and down through your body, we want to give the conscious mind something to focus on in order to stop that little voice. Using your mind’s eye, your 3rd eye located in the middle of your forehead, between your eyebrows, I want you to follow the breathe up and down through your body. When you do this, you will stop the internal voice immediately. If your mind wanders, bring it straight back and start following the breath again.
Once you become comfortable and adept with the breathing rhythm, you can stop following the breath up and down through your body and let your mind be silent without a single thought. Be mindful of the peacefulness and how you’re feeling.
To help maintain this peacefulness, you can focus on the air coming in and going out of your nose or the rise and fall of your chest as you breathe in and out. If you find that your inner voice starts to distract you again, refocus on the breathing rhythm by following your breath up and down through your body until again, your mind falls silent and you can just ‘BE’ – silent.
I hope you enjoy the process? Do give yourself the quality of time spending just 10 minutes with yourself. In the next article, I will explain why stress weakens us and creates many mental, emotional and physical problems, and how practising the Silence the Mind technique can make you healthier, happier and live longer.
As always, I hope you have enjoyed the input, I look forward to seeing any discussions and interaction from the community – more next week!
Senior Mindset Coach at a Samuel and Co Trading. While studying and practising many energy healing systems spanning 40 years (EFT, TAT, TCM, Yuen Method, NLP, Applied Kinesiology, Qigong etc). He gained qualifications in Massage, Reflexology, Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy. His goal is to continue to help his clients experience freedom from life’s emotional trauma, stress, negativity, limiting beliefs and to holistically balance the Mind, Body and Spirit.