Practice Sama and Dama
Calmness of mind comes through the practice of Sama and Dama. Sama is calmness of mind induced by the eradication of Subtle desires. Renunciation of desires through discrimination constitutes the practice of Sama, one of the sixfold virtues. If a desire arises in your mind, do not give way to it. This will become the practice of Sama. Sama is keeping the mind in the heart by practice. Sama is restraint of the mind by not allowing it to externalize or objectify. The restraint of the external activities and the Sense organs is the practice of Dama.
If you renounce the desire for eating sweets, it is Sama. If you do not allow the feet to carry you to the store to purchase the sweets, if you do not allow the eyes to see the sweets and if you do not allow the tongue to taste them, it is Dama. A desire arises to eat sweets. You do not allow the feet to move to the store to purchase the sweets. You do not allow the tongue to eat the sweets. You do not allow the eyes to see the sweets also. This kind of restraint of the Senses is termed Dama.
It is termed Sama when you do not allow any thought to arise in the mind concerning sweets by eradication of subtle desires. This eradication of the subtle desires can be accomplished through Inquiry, Soul-Awareness, Meditation, Pranayama, etc.
Sama is an internal restraint. Dama is a restraint of the Senses. Though the practice of Sama includes the practice of Dama, as the Senses will not move and work without the help of the mind, yet the practice of Dama is necessary. The practice of Dama should go hand in hand with Sama. Sama alone will not suffice. You must attack the enemy, desire, from within and without. Then alone you can control the mind quite easily. Then alone the mind will be in perfect control.
Those who practice Vairagya (Dispassion) are real tamers of their minds. Have no longing for objects. Avoid them. Vairagya thins out the mind. Vairagya is a drastic purgative for the mind. Destroy all the pleasure-centers of the mind such as frequently eating dainty dishes, gossiping, sightseeing, music and company of women/men slowly and cautiously. Keep up three Sattvic (pure) pleasure-centers such as study of books dealing with Soul-Knowledge, meditation and service of humanity. When you advance in meditation, give up service and study also for some time. After you have attained thoughtless state, preach, work and distribute divine knowledge
Whatever object the mind likes much must be given up. Whatever object the mind dwells upon constantly, thinks about very often, must be abandoned. If you like apples much, give them up first. You will gain a great deal of peace, will-power and control of mind. Suppose you like tea, mangoes, grapes and sweets very much. Make it a point to renounce them and even the desire for these objects. After some months, the craving or the hankering will be attenuated and will slowly vanish. You must be devoting three or four hours daily in proper prayer, and meditation of God. The above objects which used to attract you before very much seem very loathsome now. They present the very reverse of your former feelings. They give you intense pain. This is a sign of true Vairagya (dispassion) and destruction of the mind.
If all objects which have an enchanting appearance become eyesores and present the very reverse of the former feelings, then know that the mind is destroyed. When the mind is changed, the objects which gave you pleasure before will give you pain. That is the sign of annihilation of the mind.
Things which used to upset you easily will not touch you now. Occasions which would have made you irritable do not make you so now. You have gained strength, power and endurance, power of resistance, power to deal with troubles. Certain unkind words from other people who used to torment you, no longer give you the trouble now. Even if you become irritable and show signs of anger, you are able now to compose yourself quickly. These are all the signs of your gaining mental strength and will-power. Meditation brings about all these beneficial results.
When there is quiescence in the mind and an indifference in it towards all enjoyments and when the powerful Senses are turned inwards and the Ignorance of the mind is destroyed, then and then only all the noble words of the wise Guru will infiltrate and spread in the mind of the disciple, just as rose-colored water impinges on a perfectly white cloth.
Mind – Its Mysteries and Control by Sri Swami Sivananda