Quieting the Mind (Excerpt from Choose to Be Happy)
In our discussion of the past, we talked about how powerful the mind is in creating the thing we call the past. In fact, the mind is our chemistry--past, present and future--and the only hope we have of changing our chemistry--which is the biological part of us that tells us we need this thing and that thing in order to be happy--is to quiet our minds. Notice I did not say “change our minds--the only way to change our chemistry is to change our minds”--because the mind never really changes its mode of operation. Its mode of operation is to chatter on.
But when you are able to quiet your mind, you hear what your deepest inner Self is saying to you. Then you act from that, which is a much truer place than you come from or get to by acting on what the mind tells you. As you progress in your inner work, as you grow, the mind still is the thing that chatters, but far below you, in the realm of the little self where you no longer live.
In the chapter on meditation, we’ll talk about quieting the mind through repetition of a mantra, and we’ll discuss feeling our way towards the flow rather than thinking our way towards it. But for now, simply begin by asking to be quiet and surrender. That quietness and surrender will allow you to release tensions and extend your creative energy. This is the same as saying that quieting the mind and surrendering your issues will pave the way for you to cultivate a life of calmness and virtue. Why is cultivating calmness and virtue important? Because calmness is the condition of deep internal openness which we hope will become our permanent state, and virtue is extending that openness to other people. They are two of the most important cornerstones in the choice to be happy, because without them we cannot sustain a deep connection with the Self.