When you want to directly enjoy the sunshine, you must go outdoors. You understand you have to take yourself physically to a place where the warming rays of the sun can fall upon you without interference. Likewise, when you want to know the powers that circulate through a quiet mind, you must take yourself to that place where this silent strength can make itself known to you. To go quiet, you must go within.

To ensure your success in going within and going quiet, consider yourself as being a naturalist of the mind. A good wildlife naturalist casually observes the diverse ways of birds or bunnies without interfering. To study and learn, he or she just watches. And that’s what you must learn to do as you journey within: being an impartial witness to the life of your own thoughts and feelings. Let them fly and hop around within you without the slightest concern for their direction or character. Neither resist nor let yourself be drawn into any of their attention-stealing antics.

Again, all you want to do is watch. Detached self-observation is your aim. Each time you realize that you’re no longer watching, but rather that you’ve been captured by a thought or feeling and are being carried along by it, just quietly withdraw yourself from that temporary psychic wave. Come back to the awareness of yourself in the present moment.

This is the heart and soul of going — and knowing — quiet. Let go, give up, go within, and watch. And over and over again, bring your awareness of yourself back into the awareness of the present moment.

Learn to watch and drop your own thoughts and feelings trying to tell you: “You should give up this worthless, unproductive practice!” They don’t want you to succeed and there’s a good reason why: They cannot dwell in that silent world you wish to enter, and that wishes to enter you.

Slowly, subtly at first, but eventually even beyond your mind’s protests, a new, deeper sense of silence floods into you; filling your awareness with itself and, at the same time, with yet another awareness that the source of this supreme stillness is arising out of your own being. It washes everything out of its way. And so arrives a quiet mind.

Guy Finley
Guy Finley is the best-selling author of more than 40 books and audio albums on self-realization. He is the founder and director of Life of Learning Foundation, a nonprofit center for spiritual development located in Southern Oregon. For more information visit www.guyfinley.org, and sign up to receive a free helpful newsletter emailed to you each week.

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