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This article is provided by kind permission of Sheri Rosenthal. This article MAY NOT BE REPRODUCED without the permission of the author.

The Number One Question Asked

By Sheri Rosenthal

Years ago I was blessed with the opportunity of traveling around the country with don Miguel Ruiz, author of “The Four Agreements,” while I was running his organization, Sixth Sun Foundation. Since then I have been traveling and lecturing on my own, and one of my most cherished benefits of teaching has been listening to the questions and concerns that so many of you have voiced over the years. The most frequently asked question that I hear is, “How do I quiet my mind?” So many of us are tired of being abused by the constant noise within our heads. Try as we may, we cannot stop the mind from its constant chatter, conversations with non-existent people, arguments with people who are not present, tirades of self-importance, replaying of past conversations, fantasy situations, laundry lists of things to do, and just plain nonsense.

At its worst, our internal dialog is nasty and derogatory and at its best boring and repetitive. If I could share the one tool that would have the greatest possible effect on quieting the mind it would be this: Do not believe yourself or take yourself personally. If you are a person seeking happiness, this tool is key. Most of us believe everything our mind tells us because we believe that we are our mind and, therefore, we always take the point of view of our mind. But I can assure you that this is not truth.

Right now your mind is able to capture its own attention 100% of the time. As soon as your mind begins talking it finds the internal dialog so scintillating that it hooks its own attention. We call this listening to ourselves. But that is the problem. You are not listening to “yourself” but, instead, a program that has been stored in your mind.

You are not your mind or the program contained within it. Your mind contains the sum total of everything that you have learned and experienced, and all of your experiences are being processed from your point of view. I am sure it all seems interesting and truthful, but if you really spend time looking at what your mind is telling you and actually hear your personal story, you will find that yes, the internal dialogue is interesting, but not necessarily truth. If it is not necessarily truth, then why bother listening to it? Our mind/program is constantly talking to us because this is the way it validates its existence. When it talks it is listening to itself. Your authentic or spirit self has no need to listen to all those conversations. Your authentic self knows exactly what to do without you having to think and ruminate about things.

The problem is that we have been convinced by our minds that we cannot survive without our constant thinking. And as long as you have the belief that you cannot survive without the constant chatter of your mind you will never be able to quiet your mind! You have a much more reliable source to depend on for your life’s decisions and choices, your heart. You cannot hear your heart if your mind is talking so loudly that it drowns out your heart. So you see, your attention is being captured by a program rather than your spirit, your authentic self. Stop believing that noisy program and start putting all your attention on your heart and the love you are generating. If you stop believing your mind and focus on your heart, you will find that the noise in your head starts fading away.

Sheri Rosenthal DPM is a master Toltec teacher and author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Toltec Wisdom. Having trained with don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements, she currently takes students on spiritual journeys, works with personal apprentices and enjoys being extremely happy. You can reach her at or