The word “silence” doesn’t really say much. In Sanskrit there are many words for silence. “Maun” and “nishabd” are two significant words. “Maun” means silence, meaning you don’t speak; it is an attempt to create nishabd. “Nishabd” means “that which is not sound” – beyond the body and mind. Beyond sound does not mean absence of sound, but transcending sound.
In silence we can hear and clearly see our inner dialogue and the way we talk to ourselves, we get to know our demons. This is truly a blessing, as we can learn from this experience and decide what thoughts we let in our head and which thoughts we don’t. This is powerful, we really do chose!
“We normally attempt to solve our inner disturbances by protecting ourselves. Real transformation begins when you embrace your problems as agents for growth… Do not doubt your ability to remove the root cause of the disturbance inside of you. It really can go away.” ~ The Untethered Soul
my path to silence
4 years ago whilst traveling Asia, I arrived in Thailand to find myself in a buddhist monastery on a silent retreat. Little did I know what I was in for….
I managed to get past day four, which they say is the turning point and then it gets easier, yes and no! The mosquitoes were unbearable, the heat and humidity of southern thailand made me feel sleepy and lethargic. The meditation made me feel happy, sad, angry, anxious, vulnerable… you name it, I felt it.
My body ached, we literally slept on concrete, with a thin mat made of straw and a wooden pillow. Every day was a meditation, complete silence, no eye contact, nothing! As the days passed by I began to understand how my mind worked and how I was talking to myself. Things came up, lots of things came up and then they went and then some other thought would enter my mind. I observed my reactions and my emotions, there was nowhere to go, nowhere to hide, nothing to reach out to. No telephone, no chocolate, no external distractions, no yoga. Just me, myself and I.
embracing the silence
After 10 days of pure silence my heart was cracked open and I was pounding with joy. It almost felt strange to speak again. I felt such a deep transformation, I can definitely say that being in silence has been one of the most enriching experiences I have had so far.
In the silence we create the space to observe our thoughts, our mind games and impulses. The more we notice how we react the more control we have over our actions, emotions and communication. When you breathe more deeply you breathe calmness into your life. As you inhale and exhale make them long and profound. Observe the difference in your mental and emotional state.
the significance of silence
Being in silence takes patience. Allowing silence in your life is not something that happens overnight, it is a consistent practice, even if it is only 10 minutes every day, I highly recommend that everybody gives themselves the gift of silence, it really can transform your life.
Silence appeals to the heart, bringing relief from mental destructive chatter. Make friends with the voices in your head and really see and feel the differences the silence makes in your life.
Instead of struggling to silence the mind, relax into the quiet that contains the mind.
Lou is a blogger & yoga teacher. After completing evolations primary teacher training in July 2011, she is now traveling the world (current stop: evolation yoga – Sunshine Coast in Austrailia) to share the yoga love.