When you are feeling restless it can be hard to meditate and calm your mind. Find out how to overcome restlessness from this clip from a talk I gave at the Morse Institute Library.

Video Transcript and Relevant Links

When you take a glass of water and it’s has sand in it. You shake it up, it’s all muddy, right? But when you just let it sit there for some time, the sand settles.

There is some degree of resistance to that restlessness, and that’s what makes it worse. I don’t want that restlessness to be there. I want to meditate. I want my mind to be quiet. That wanting the mind to be quiet prevents it from being quiet.

It’s like shaking the glass of muddy water and trying to make it still. The mind doesn’t become still by resisting it, just like the glass of muddy water doesn’t become still when you shake it.

So, the real key is allowing the thoughts to be. Yeah, the mind is restless. You notice it is restless. Let it be restless. Let it go wherever it wants it go. It’s OK. The moment we say I don’t want my mind to go there, you’ll notice it goes there more.

So, allowing it to go. If the mind is lost in the past it’s OK. You just notice it, “Oh it has gone there.” That’s it. That’s the trick to settle the mind. You can’t force it. There’s no way you can force it. The more you force it the worse it gets. It’s a skill that comes with more practice.

Just allow your thoughts to be. Yeah, I have a bothering or annoying thought that’s coming back.

Just allowing it to be without resisting is the secret to handling our restless mind.