The following exchange occurred with an English woman, M.A. Piggot, who came to the Maharshi after reading a popular account by Paul Brunton:
Q: What are the hindrances to the realization of the true Self?
R: Memory chiefly, habits of thoughts, accumulated tendencies.
Q: How does one get rid of these hindrances?
R: Seek for the Self through meditation in this manner, trace every thought back to its origin which is only the mind. Never allow thought to run on. If you do, it will be unending. Take it back to its starting place - the mind - again and again, and it and the mind will both die of inaction. The mind exists only by reason of thought. Stop thought and there is no mind. As each doubt and depression arises, ask yourself, "Who is it that doubts? What is it that is depressed?" Go back constantly until there is nothing but the source of all left. And then, live always in the present and only in it. There is no past or future, save in the mind.
-Ram Dass (p. 229)