brian j plachta
Welcome Friends!
writer, spiritual mentor, speaker
by deepening your inner growth, integrating balance & discovering wholeness in your daily life.
to live the life you've imagined
I'm a passionate writer, energetic speaker, & spiritual mentor
---click here to get weekly email encouragements---
who wants to encourage you
How Do I Quiet My Mind?
by brian j plachta on February 17th, 2018

Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hahn retells a fable about a man riding a runaway horse through the city.  As the horse and rider race through the streets, a bystander shouts to the rider, “Where are you going?”  The rider responds, “I don’t know.  Ask the horse.”
Our minds are often like a runaway horse. Like the rider in the fable, we’re not sure where our thoughts are taking us. It can sometimes feel like we’re overpowered by the barrage of unbridled thoughts galloping through our minds.
There’s several ways we can take the reins to quiet our mind chatter.  And the more we practice these time-proven techniques, the more our runaway thoughts become tamed.
The key to bringing our thoughts to a halt is to first develop awareness of when the incessant chatter racing through our heads is becoming rampant and bothersome.  With awareness, we can then practice gentle discipline to quiet the mind, and give our thinking a rest.
One of the simplest ways to quiet the mind is to connect with our breathing.  Once we notice our mind galloping, we can stop, take several deep, slow breaths, and be present to our breathing.  Since the mind can only think one thought at a time, shifting our attention to our breath brings focus to our body.  As we breathe in, we notice air cascading through our noses and filling our lungs.  As we release the breath slowly through our mouths, we allow our body to slow down, relax, and flow with the natural rhythm breathing creates:
In, out
Deep, slow
Calm, ease
Smile, release
Present moment
Peaceful moment.
When our minds wander, which they will do, we can gently bring our attention back to our breathing and allow ourselves to reconnect with the flow of air that nourishes and sustains us.
Another practice that’s helpful in quieting the mind is finding a gentle mantra to center and ground ourselves.  Simple words or phrases like peace, I’m safe, love, or God is with me can take our minds off anxious thoughts and anchor them with a positive affirmation. 
As we repeat a meaningful mantra, we recreate the effect of that mantra within ourselves. We teach the body to experience the word we speak.
For example: every time we say peace in a soft, soothing tone, we invite ourselves to feel calm. The more we repeat peace to ourselves in the same quiet way, the easier it is to recapture the serenity. Our body then remembers that calm feeling and integrates it into our being.

The mind is a powerful gift the Creator’s given us.  Yet, in our Western culture, we’ve over-identified with our intellect, leading us to believe we are what we think. 
Thoughts are just mental energy making their way through our heads.  We’re much more than our thinking.  We are mind, body, and spirit.  With intentional practice, we can bridle our thoughts so we can center ourselves in the Creator’s peace that surpasses all understanding.
—brian j plachta
For Daily Inspiration, like Simple Wisdom for Everyday Living on Facebook. 

Posted in Reflections    Tagged with Quiet the Mind, meditation, Soul, peace, love, quiet, silence


Leave a Comment

poetry (4)
#God #blessing #contemplation #distractions #faith #father's day #father #fear #growth #i deepen #inner growth #inner peace #interruptions #peace #prayer #rise #spirituality #wholeness Arise Creator Divine God is good God loves me God revealed God with skin God's Blessing God's voice; true voice; experience God's voice God-nudge God Gurdjieff Heart Space Holy spirit I am good I love God Is God Real? Jewish Tradition New Year Now One Onieng Present Moment Quiet the Mind Resolutions Rohr Science Soul of America Soul Time addiction advent alive am I enough? animal spirts antidote awake balance believe belonging beloved bird feeding breath of God breathe breath calming the mind cats centering prayer center charisms choosing our thoughts christmas christ civility common good community connected contemplation conversations with God daily tension desire difficult people discernment divine embrace divine presence divine reading do your best dog doubts dreams drop the stones easter election embodiment embraced embrace enjoy enough eucharist exercise faith fake news false self falsehoods family fear find your voice flip the switch flow theory flow forgiveness forgive freedom gifts gratitude grow up growth grow grumpy guide happiness harmony heart mind connection heart-brake heart hear heaven held hidden holy nudges how much is enough? humanity i okay imagination imperfect incarnation injoy inner grump inner journey inner peace inner strength inner touch inner work innocence inspiration integrity joseph journey joy law of three laying down our life lectio divina lens let god let go life is good life's purpose life-giving life light of the world listen live love live love ourselves love you prayer love me time meaning meditation mentoring mentor metaphors for God mind chatter monkey mind morning mystic nature nudges nudge okay open your heart open ordinary life original blessing original sin peace phoenix plastic jesus poke politics positive practicing presence prayer of the Self prayer pray presecne presence prodigal son purpose quiet time quiet real presence reflection relationship remember resurrection retreat rhythm of life right brain right living running from God running from myself sacrament samuel screwtape scripture seeds self esteem self respect self-giving self-love self-respect self-respec self-talk separation silence simplicity solitude solomon soul's voice speak spiriitual spirit of God spiritual gifts spirituality spiritual spirit strength stroke suffering survivor talents teacher tension the voice of God the voice of the soul this moment transfigure transformation transform true self trust jesus truth unconditional love virtue voice of God voice of love voice walking meditation walking we are the second c coming of Christ what i believe whisper who is your teacher? wholeness why am i here? wisdom keeper wisdom worry wounds