How Can I Quiet My Mind During Spiritual Exercises?

John Morton, D.S.S., Spiritual Director of MSIA

Question: How can I quiet my mind during spiritual exercises?

Answer: You have the power within you to quiet your mind. That’s what you carry as a creative force. When something comes into your mind, you have a choice of what you do with it. Do you place your focus on what comes to your mind or do you look beyond it?

One aspect of doing spiritual exercises is bringing your mind to a particular focus. Minds condense and particularize. That’s how the mind is a tool. If you want to look at something and focus on it, then the mind is a great tool for that.

Give your mind a simple focus. When you’re doing spiritual exercises, regardless of what your mind is doing, you can put your consciousness on the name of God. That is a consciousness and an awareness beyond your mind. Focusing on the name of God takes your mind out of the equation eventually.

In MSIA, we teach chanting a tone, Ani Hu, which is an ancient name of God that brings forward the quality of empathy. However, spiritual exercise is not just about chanting a tone. It’s also about focusing on what you would find uplifting, beautiful, and nurturing. You can focus your mind on something you truly love. That might be someone. It might be something you like to hear such as music or something you visualize like a beautiful place.

One way to quiet your mind as a technique is similar to gazing. If I’m gazing at something, it’s not quite like I’m focusing upon it. There’s a difference. Maybe it’s more like I’m scanning. For example, when I’m scanning a field, I’m aware of the field. I’m not focusing on just one thing in the field or even the whole field. I’m just aware of the field. What you put your gaze upon is very important because where you direct yourself energy follows. So be careful what you focus upon. Be careful of the thoughts that you hold in your mind.

Whatever is present in your mind is something you can just look at. It’s not something to be but rather to observe. Check with your experience and with your inner knowing about what is presented. Look at the meaningfulness of what is in your mind about what you’re observing.

If what your mind brings to you is uplifting, nurturing, loving, and caring --- those factors that are of the higher consciousness --- then it is doing you a service. It’s like bringing food to you when you’re hungry. However, if your mind brings you distraction, then that’s when you need to have the wit to let that go in your own consciousness. During spiritual exercises, there’s a letting go process. It’s about choosing not to focus on what comes into the mind if it is not serving you.

Make the physical environment where you bring yourself for spiritual exercises a place of worship. Put your energy into that place so that, for you, it becomes sacred like a sanctuary amongst the noise and calamity of the world. Doing so helps us to quiet ourselves. When workable, choose a quiet place that’s pleasant and comfortable for you.

If you’ve done things in your life to create disturbance, don’t be surprised if you have an inner disturbance momentarily during spiritual exercises. At that time you want to meet up with God. You can invoke the grace and mercy of God so that whatever is troubling you is put to rest.

There’s no againstness in the spirit. As you interpret your inner experience, if you find yourself attacking or moving against any part of the creation, just consider that you’re off track. You’re in good territory when you become aware of where you’re off track. Then you can refocus on the name of God and let go of any sense of againstness.

One of the more important things you can do to quiet your mind is an invocation of the highest power for bringing about clearing, balancing, and lifting what can be lifted by that divine power. Understand that of our own personal power we’re more or less like nothing. So invoke the greatest power that is the divine power. You have the divine right to do that.

The mind can pull your energy magnetically to what keeps you from realizing the divine. However, it’s worth whatever you go through to realize your divinity. If you’re going to get an inch closer, it’s worth whatever it takes. As you move closer within, you’re more available to the experience of your divine nature. You’ll increase your soul awareness.

Have the wit to call upon the highest power and do it as much as you can, even continuously. That would mean you constantly need to be calling yourself forward into the Light and breathing in the Light. Place things that come from you that no longer serve into the Light for the highest good. Release them and let them go into the Light, so that it may be done within God’s power and God’s will.

By doing spiritual exercises, you will progress regardless. The beauty of that progression is that your soul always gains learning and growth. You may turn away momentarily. You may be distracted by your mind from time to time. But your soul will have the learning. Your soul will obtain that level of awakening.

Understand that it’s all God. So surrender yourself to God’s will. Become the action of the Light that is the highest good of all concerned. That’s part of the opportunity for you as you call upon God’s name.

Let yourself become the Light and release everything that is of a lower vibration or magnetic form of light. Do everything in the Light and be in the Light as you do your part to move into the consciousness that is God. Let go of whatever would keep you from knowing who you are as a soul, including your mind. Be patient with yourself and your learning, and give thanks as you awaken to your divine nature.

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Blessing for Awakening to our Divine Nature

Lord God, we give thanks that you have brought us together.

We ask for our consciousness to be awake to the light that is You and the Holy Spirit and the Christ.

This is a field anchored in that consciousness that is the Christ and in that personal vibration that is the one we call Jesus and through all those in the line of the Traveler.

We bring it forth here and now in our consciousness that we are fully awake in our divine nature.

We are patient with our process that finds limitation and finds where we have placed restrictions. We’re patient as we learn to handle what comes before us.

We trust Your willingness to bring it in perfect timing and do not insist that it is done just because we want it as that does not serve.

We give thanks for the joy in Your presence. We celebrate that joy.

Right now we ask for whatever can be taken from us, so that in this moment all that we’re aware of is the consciousness of joy and the freedom of Your spirit that pervades all of creation.

It is done. It is before us. It is true.

Baruch Bashan

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