Book Journeys - Meditations Book 4 - by Marcus Aurelius - On Quietening the mind

  • When faced with difficulties turn to these two things -

    • Remember that external things, people, circumstances cannot harm us, it is only the judgements within that can torment us. All suffering comes from thought, so quieten your mind.
    • Remember that things change. Whatever is tormenting us now will be gone tomorrow. Trust in this, be patient and quieten your mind. We must recall how many of these changes we have gone through in our lives already.
  • Trust that nature has given us a sort of power within that adapts itself to cope with whatever hardship is presented to us.

    • This power within us is not like a candle that will extinguish when problems are heaped on top of it, but it is like a blazing fire that will consume all obstacles and rise higher.
    • Trust that when trouble comes, you will have this power with you, your rationality, courage and inbuilt resiliency.
    • So stop worrying about the future,as its is too early, and quieten your mind.


  • Do not be discontented about wicked acts of others.
    • Cause no one does acts of wickedness and injustice voluntarily.They do it because of their ignorance of what is good or evil.
    • Cause we only harm ourself when we breed enmity towards others.
    • Consider how pointless being annoyed with or breeding enmity towards others is, as at the end of it all we are going to die. Is it worth dying with an angry, restless and resentful mind?
    • So tolerate, accept and quieten your mind.
  • Reduce your desires in all aspects of life and quieten your mind.
  • for example, do you desire fame, recognition respect, good reputation?

    • Remember how changeable others opinion of you can be. One day you are a hero and the next you are scum.
    • Even biggest stars and celebrities are forgotten shortly after they die. What good is fame to them after they are dead anyway?
    • The earth is a mere speck in the universe and we occupy a little nook in it. Even if we were recognised and revered by every person on the planet, how insignificant would the numbers would be compared to the universe.
    • Stop chasing insignificant things and quieten your mind.
  • Don't do too much or too little. Do only what is necessary. Do not busy your self, and quieten your mind.

    • Remember the greatest part of what we say or do is unnecessary.
    • Always do things right,do little and be tranquil.
    • On every occasion we should thing to ourselves - is this one of those unnecessary things?
  • Attention we give to things should be proportionate to their value. In this way there wont be dissatisfaction when we have not spent all our energy on insignificant, small, petty matters.

  • You have tried the rat race. How has it turned out for you? Now try the life of a man who is satisfied with his portion from the whole.

  • Seek a quite mind over everything else.

Top up with -
On dealing with ambition

On dealing with work

On dealing with a wasteful life