The Practice of Silence
Let silence take you to the core of life” - Rumi
So deeply enticing is the practice of silence to a wanderer that seldom does he want to return to the former ways of living. There resides a mysterious world within each individual that exists in absolute silence. Within this world lies the divine spark of Creation which pervades everything that there is. A moment of contact with the inner state of stillness and tranquility is enough to reveal the magnificent in the mundane. The joy one experiences in stillness and silence is the natural state of existence of the soul. These brief moments of touching upon the Divine happens to every individual regardless of how far they have progressed on their journey in this life. A person entirely immersed in the waves of his own thoughts passes through these moments completely unaware.
A spiritualist reflects on these moments which reveal the true nature of the soul to progress further on his lessons in this journey. The sound of silence is the loudest for a materialist. The physical world constantly bombards the natural placid state of the mind with thoughts that are not in alignment with the nature of the soul. Inner silence is attained by consciously silencing the thoughts of the mind and constructs of the ego. The release of judgment for the actions of others ensues in silencing the critical judgment of the mind, which is a step towards silencing the ego.
Consciously living in inner silence amidst the worldly chaos is a constant lesson to be mastered under every circumstance which disrupts our inner tranquility. Consistent practice in achieving the state of inner silence slowly aligns our inner consciousness with the Divine consciousness which is the intelligence behind all creation. Concentrated silence gives us a glimpse of our true eternal nature and shows us the divinity in each living form and every material. Stillness and silence bring forth our true divine nature, revealing the purpose and scheme behind all of Creation.
Silence is given the utmost importance by the spiritual masters who showed us the way to seek the Truth. Reflections of our true nature achieved by consciously living in silence are nature’s way of asking us to go deeper within, into the profound. Living in silence takes us to the very core of life, the realm of consciousness which is the wisdom that permeates the Universe, encompassing all of Creation.
As famously said by Thomas Keating, “Silence is God’s first language; everything else is a poor translation. In order to hear that language, we must learn to be still and to rest in God.” The spiritual practice of silence holds great significance in Hinduism. Swami Sivananda once said that a vow of silence must be practiced once a week. Observing Mouna (a vow of silence) is always followed by a feeling of peace and tranquility. Also, it is well established in the spiritual community that silence results in transmutation of speech energy into spiritual energy (Ojas). This increases the will of a spiritual seeker.
The practice of silence is not only one of the most powerful practices one can do, but is also one of the easiest to do. After all, how hard is it to go silent a few minutes in a day and contemplate on the deeper things in life?
A few ways to incorporate the spiritual practice of silence are as follows:
In the morning while we are waking up, our subconscious minds are awake. Closing our eyes for a few minutes and feeling uplifting emotions of gratitude and love while practicing silence can do wonders to our energetic body.
Limiting or totally cutting the use of electronics early in the morning while focusing on the silence within ourselves is a powerful way of feeling closer to nature.
Avoiding confrontations and arguments as much as possible is a powerful way to push ourselves towards the practice of silence. Heated feelings always cause a wastage of energy. Difficult situations which demand a reaction from us are our real teachers which teach us to practice patience and silence. Let us remember to practice silence while dealing with difficult people as much as possible.
At least once a week, going on a hike or taking a walk in the park helps us connect with ourselves. Spending time to connect with nature automatically pushes us towards the practice of silence. Try to appreciate the oneness and peace present everywhere around you.
Before going to sleep, taking a few minutes to contemplate our thoughts and actions in silence not only results in inner stillness and peace, but also eventually teaches us to go within ourselves to seek all the answers we will ever need in our lives.
The five practices listed above are simple yet are incredibly powerful. Let us promise to follow them as much as possible.
To conclude, let us remember the words of Wayne W. Dyer:
“Make peace with silence, and remind yourself that it is in this space that you'll come to remember your spirit. When you're able to transcend an aversion to silence, you'll also transcend many other miseries. And it is in this silence that the remembrance of God will be activated.”
Stay tuned for more such posts.
Let's Bring Light Into Darkness!