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How to stop mind's inner chatter? || Acharya Prashant, with MMMUT (2023)
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
5 min
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Question (Q): Good evening, Sir. There are times when I think a lot and I feel caged in my own mind. My mind constantly keeps chattering and I can't stop it. My question is, how to stop the mind's chatter?

Acharya Prashant(AP): The mind chatters only about little and inconsequential things. First of all, the matter would be a petty one; secondly, irrespective of how long the chatter is, the matter can never be brought to an end; so it is inconsequential. The mind loves to engage itself with itself. The mind loves to roll in its own stuff. It wants to be a prisoner unto itself. So, the mind is doing this, that and that.

Just see that, one, it's a petty thing. Secondly, it does not matter how long you want to think over it, brood over it, cry over it, or whatever worry over it; it will never come to an end. There is no end, so what to do then? Just recall that life is bigger and you have more important stuff to do. The mind has to be busy with something. You did not give it something important to be busy with; so it started playing with itself. That's what has happened.

The mind is a monkey, it needs something to play with. You gave it nothing. It started playing with its own body. Now, it has its tail in its mouth—it is happy that it has a toy to play with, and is crying because the game is painful. That's how the mind behaves, no? Give the monkey something decent to play with.

Is your life settled? Have you reached your end? Have you realized your purpose? Are you at the end of your journey? The mind is the instrument that helps you along your way. If the car has not yet reached its destination, why is it revving so much on neutral? The mind talking to itself is like a car accelerating on neutral. What does that do? That takes the car nowhere, only heats up the engine and burns the fuel. And that's how most of us burn down our precious life energy, right? The car standing on neutral and the RPM (revolutions per minute) is 6000—lot of noise and a lot of heat, and no distance covered. It just appears something is happening, nothing really happens.

But the car is built to travel, so just change the gears and give it a destination, and all the internal chatter will just stop. In neutral, even at 6000 RPM it was going nowhere. Pull the right gear and drive it wisely, and even at 2000 RPM it will take you places.

The mind will not be overworked and will still deliver useful results. But when you are talking to yourself, that ātma saṃvāda , that internal chit chat, that continuous conversation with the mirror, that's just dissipation of life energy. That's the worst way to exist—to live in your mind. What's the most dangerous place to live in? The mind.

Horrible is the condition of those who live in their minds, and the only way to get out of your mind is by giving the mind a purpose. Nothing else will work, that's a law. All laws apply to prakṛti , nature, right? Just as you have Newton's laws and other laws, similarly this is the law of the mind, prakṛti , law of nature.

If you don't want the mind to go bonkers playing with itself, then give it a task and don't let the mind ever run out of tasks. The mind is just energy. You do not give it a purpose solemn enough, the energy will become destructive. Just keep the mind constructively involved with something proper and purposeful, and that will require honesty.

We are lazy people, right? When if the mind is to be given a proper purpose, the mind will work; but the limbs too will have to work. The mind cannot just work on its own without hands, and eyes, and nose, and legs working; and we don't want that to happen. So, we slouch on the couch doing nothing and only the mind is working. No!

Give the mind a proper purpose. Let the entire body, your entire system, everything in your existence be focused, be channelized towards the right purpose in life.

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