Silence

Q: Tell us about Silence.

Guruji: There are three levels of silence:

One is not saying anything. This is what we usually call silence. People understand silence as not talking, not gesturing, and not doing anything.

There is another level of silence which is one step further. It is when our mind is not interested in the things around it, but is just focused inward. You are not interested in seeing, talking or listening to anything. What happens when you see? You’re taking something in. When you’re listening, you’re taking something in. When you’re tasting, and touching, you are taking something in. All our five senses are trained to take something in. This is all an activity. Silence is disinterestedness in activity.

This does not mean that you shouldn’t eat food. Eat food, but do not feel like, this food is tasty, this food is not tasty. Eat food but your mind must not be involved. The mind not getting involved in any of the five senses brings a certain amount of quietness inside you and this is the second type of silence. It is an inward journey of the mind. Silence is disinterestedness in activity. The mind not getting involved in any of the five senses brings a certain amount of quietness inside you. It is an inward journey of the mind.

The third degree of silence is, total oneness, total satisfaction. There is no need of anything, total contentment. It is when all your energies, the thoughts, the mind, which is scattered all over the place comes back to its source. In some deep meditation you might have had the glimpse of that total stillness of the mind. And this stillness can be there even when you are active.

Now you might think, ‘Why bother about meditation when sleep is good enough?’ That is because when you are sleeping, even though your mind is not engaged in activity, there is another type of physical activity which is even more during sleep. When you’re sleeping your body is rejuvenating, it is growing, cells are multiplying; there is a lot of physical activity in the body. In fact, this sort of physical activity is much more in sleep than in the waking state.

In meditation, the reverse happens, the physical activity is low in the body. In sleep, the metabolism is high, but in meditation the metabolism comes down. So, the body also calms down and the mind also calms down during meditation.
Then what happens? The intelligence awakens. This is the result of meditation. That is why you become brighter and sharper (with the practice of meditation) because it rejuvenates the body and mind at the same time and so you feel energetic.

Om Namah Shivay

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Himalayan Silence-2

Stilling the mind is one of the greatest skills for only a quiet mind can hear the song of silence. Restless minds become ruminators or brooders. A calm one, however, dances to the divine tune of silence. It is not necessary that we have to constantly be doing something important in life. Simply being aware in the present moment, being happy is just as significant.

A young monk asked his mentor, “Master, is it a sin to sleep with a woman in the same bed?”

“Not at all, dear,” he replied. “To stay awake with her might be. To sleep is okay.”

Life is playful and it is demanding. Don’t let it keep you up; learn to sleep with it if you want peace. Many a time, when you let yourself be and when you let life be, things just work out on their own. To drop your worries may not be easy, but it’s doable. You simplify your life and your burden eases itself, or, you learn to experience silence and life looks simplified. Either way, you win.

There is no burden in sleeping, when you are awake your desires rise to the brim like bubbles do in water. At that time, if you know the art of silence, just watch those beads of air and you will discover a beauty and rhythm that will melt your talkative mind. Even tidal oceans look peaceful then.

Let me close with the famous and beautiful, one of my all-time favorites, The Daffodils by William Wordsworth:

I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o’er vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host of golden daffodils;

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine

and twinkle on the Milky Way,

They stretched in never-ending line

along the margin of a bay:

Ten thousand saw I at a glance,

tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they

Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:

A poet could not but be gay,

in such a jocund company:

I gazed—and gazed—but little thought

what wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie

In vacant or in pensive mood,

They flash upon that inward eye

Which is the bliss of solitude;

And then my heart with pleasure fills,

And dances with the daffodils.

If there’s one thing everyone must gift themselves in their lives, in my humble opinion, is a stint of Himalayan solitude. It is transformational. And until you can do that, just sit in any quiet corner, close your eyes and allow yourself to flow. No thoughts, no thinking, no reflection, just flow like a mountain stream, a gentle breeze, like the murmuring ganges. It’s only in that flow that you will discover the source of eternal happiness: silence of the mind.

Om Namah Shivay

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Himalayan Silence-1

It is roughly three in the morning as I write this post. Gusty winds are blowing as if they want to uproot the Himalayas. Old and tall trees are swaying like they are trying to embrace each other. Out of love or fear, I don’t know. It’s pitch dark outside and you see the trees and mountains only when lightning strikes. The skies have dislodged a massive thunderstorm and rain is cascading down like there is no tomorrow.

There is no sound of any bird, any living creature. This is the current scene in my solitude where I’m finishing some of my writings.

At an altitude of 8000 feet, as I sit here in peace, witnessing this grand play of nature and listening to the beautiful sounds of winds, rain and thunder, I’m reminded of a little story.

Once upon a time a farmer lost his watch while working in the barn. This was not just any watch but his most favorite possession. His late father had given it to him decades ago. He searched for it frantically, in every nook and corner of his barn. He turned the hay upside down but it was nowhere to be found.

Somewhat distraught, hardly had he sat down when he heard children playing outside. He asked them for help and promised a reward of $20 to the one who would find it. Excited, eager and hopeful, the children rummaged through the whole area, practically combing every haystack, yet they couldn’t find it either. They gave up and went back to playing. The farmer thought he would never see his watch again.

“Can you give me a chance?” a small boy tugged at his coat.

“I don’t mind,” the farmer said, surprised to see a little contender. “But, other children and I’ve already searched everywhere.”

“I know,” he said. “I would still like to try.”

The farmer had nothing to lose so he let him in and carried on with his chores in the field.

A mere twenty minutes later, the young boy went running up to him.

“I found it!” he said, and, opened his hands revealing the watch.

The farmer picked him up in his arms, and said joyously, “How on earth did you find it?”

“I just sat on the ground and listened to silence,” the boy replied. “After a few minutes, I heard the watch ticking. The rest was easy.”

We are desperately searching for our lost possessions, emotions and love, turning the world upside down only to feel tired a bit later. And then we sit down, we wonder, we worry, we muse, we reflect, we accept, we relax. In that state of mind, life appears like the young boy and hands it back to us.

Sometimes, the greatest way to search is to not search at all. When you don’t search and just let it be, then you hear the watch ticking, you hear how life’s bubbling over and you see the beauty in everything. When that happens, you realize that everything you already have is a prized possession in its own right, the present moment being the greatest of all.

Om Namah Shivay

***Write ” Om Namah Shivay ” if you ask for God’s blessing on your life today. Please Like, Tag and Share to bless others!

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