Heard the one about the mouse hole? No, not a joke but a tried and tested method of quieting the mind. Eckhart Tolle mentions it in (I think) The Power of Now.
As you sit in meditation and settle yourself down, once you’re past the first phase of allowing your breathing to become slow and rhythmical, and you are watching and listening to your breath, you can see and feel your thoughts start to slow as a matter of course. Now you watch the mouse hole as an exercise to isolate thoughts and completely shut them down. Create and focus on an image of a small dark hole in the ‘wainscot of your mind’, if you will, and watch it like a cat for a thought to emerge, like a mouse. You realize immediately that it isn’t a necessary and foregone conclusion that your thoughts must be moving all the time, into and out of one another, hard on each other’s heels in an endless flow. You might find yourself watching the hole for a palpable few seconds before a thought appears. As it does, observe it. Look at it, watch it flow, watch it go. Gone.
Another one? Nope. Time passes with no thought. The dark hole you are focusing on is in the centre of your mind, which is in the centre of your forehead because that’s where you the Soul, the consciousness that is You, are physically located. As you focus on that dark hole, it turns to light. A pinpoint of light. You have turned your attention to Your Self, the Soul, inherently peaceful and powerful, made of nothing but spiritual light. It – You – are so infinitesimally small that you effectively have location but no size. In that tininess is all the spiritual power that is You, all your thoughts, memories, desires, fears, actions and reactions over many lives. Even if you don’t believe in reincarnation and prefer to stick to just this one life, the idea is powerful enough.
You focus on You the Pinpoint of Light, and (watching your breathing to see it is regular, and your throat to see it is relaxed) rapidly you get a breakthrough into your own natural state of silence, of stillness, of power and peace. Envelop yourself in Your own light, the light that is You. Bliss, the product of a quiet mind, washes over you.
All from one little mouse hole.