How to quieten the Mind ?
The first and foremost of all the thoughts that arise in the mind is the primal ‘I’-thought. It is only after the rise or origin of the ‘I’-thought that innumerable other thoughts arise. In other words, only after the first personal pronoun, ‘I’, has arisen, do the second and third personal pronouns (‘you, he’, etc.) occur to the mind; and they cannot subsist without the former.
Since every other thought can occur only after the rise of the ‘I’-thought and since the mind is nothing but a bundle of thoughts, it is only through the enquiry ‘Who am I?’ that the mind subsides. Moreover, the integral ‘I’-thought, implicit in such enquiry, having destroyed all other thoughts, is itself finally destroyed or consumed, just as the stick used for stirring the burning funeral pyre is consumed.
Even when extraneous thoughts sprout up during such enquiry, do not seek to complete the rising thought but instead, deeply enquire within, ‘To whom has this thought occurred?’
No matter how many thoughts thus occur to you, if you would with acute vigilance enquire immediately as and when each individual thought arises to whom it has occurred, you would find it is to ‘me’. If then you enquire ‘Who am I?’ the mind gets introverted and the rising thought also subsides. In this manner as you persevere more and more in the practice of Self-enquiry, the mind acquires increasing strength and power to abide in its Source.
Sri Ramana Maharshi
Words of Grace
Who am I ?