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How Do You Meditate to Calm Your Mind?

Nayaswami Ananta
December 5, 2023

Watch Nayaswami Ananta answer this important question and giving us a deeper understanding about meditation and how it can benefit your life.

Learn how to calm the restless, rajasic mind through time-tested meditation techniques that involve focusing inward on the breath, relaxing the body, and receiving guidance from enlightened ones.


Question: How do you meditate to calm your mind?

Nayaswami Ananta:

The mind is active, rajasic. Its habit and tendency is to jump, to move from this to that, from the past, remembering this, the future. This is going to happen. To calm the mind, we want to bring the mind to a point of focus.

Focusing the Mind

That can be many things. To take a single candlelight and to concentrate on it, and then to exert willpower to hold your mind, and you're going to find your mind not wanting to be held on that light. It wants to go back to yesterday, when there was a candle like that in the store, and next thing you know you're off on yesterday, or the future, "Well, you know, there's probably be candles at Thanksgiving dinner. I wonder if I went and got the.." you know, on it goes. Future, past.

But when we want to calm our mind, which is of great advantage, we want to bring it to a single focus. The most effective means of doing that is to watch the breath, because the breath is always with us, and it is constantly in and out.

Benefits of Watching the Breath

So if we put our attention on the breath, watch it coming in, watch it stay in if it does, watch it leaving, and then sit and watch, waiting for it to return; and if we keep the body relaxed, the mind can be trained to remain calm and focused on that movement of breath.

You can calm the mind by focusing on a picture of a saint, especially the eyes. You can concentrate on a yantra, on a mandala. You can concentrate on the beauty of nature in front of you, a tree, a flower, any object as long as you hold it singularly on that object.

And that's why the breath is so helpful, because we're always breathing. And that breath can be a focus for us. So to calm the mind, it's going to be to focus it on something. In order to calm the mind, it's going to be to focus it on something.

In order to calm the mind, you're going to have to relax, calm and relax the body, because if the body is not relaxed, it's going to draw your attention to it. There is such a thing as a walking meditation, but to deeply meditate and enter into a more deep state, asana is one of the steps.

Relaxing the Body

Position, posture is one of the preliminary steps. But we need to put the body in a comfortable, relaxed position, and that can be in a chair or whatever. But if the body is calm, then we take the next step and concentrate on the breath. Do some breathing exercises to calm the breath, And then calmly just try to hold it there.

Receiving Guidance

Use the technique of meditation that you receive from any enlightened being that's gotten there, knows how they got there, so they'll share it with us. Everyone that's gotten there knows how they got there so they'll share it with us.


Nayaswami Ananta is a founding member of Ananda Village in California. He and his spouse, Nayaswami Maria, directed our Ananda community in Sacramento for over 20 years. They returned to Ananda Village in 2009 and serve the community in a number of ways, including running the Ananda Village farm and training new Ananda members.

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