THE VALUE OF SILENCE IN A WORLD FULL OF NOISE
Today, the world around us is incredibly fast and noisy. Traffic, phones and factories have filled the world with more noise than ever. Not just external noise, our mind today is filled with the constant chatter of thoughts regarding work, relationships, money and a lot more. In such a scenario, is there any place or benefit of silence in our life ?
The old age saying goes “Silence is golden”. Many great meditation teachers have explained the power of silence. The practice of ‘Mauna’ or deliberate silence goes back thousands of years. It involves not speaking for a pre-determined length of time such as a few hours, a day, a week or even up to a year (for monks). This silence helps a person determine who they really are and leads to an incredible build-up of self-confidence and power from within. The thoughts of the mind quiet down and the mind begins to learn the power of focus.
As we begin to practice silence, we begin to discover the incredible amount of energy we can save just by not speaking or speaking only as much as necessary. We can experience a sense of calm and control over our life. When we are in a state of silence by default, we get a better understanding of when and how to speak. Then, our words have impact and power.
There are two important things to mention here:
a) Practicing silence does not mean avoiding speaking when it is essential. We obviously love to speak to our loved ones, our colleagues and our friends. Practicing silence will actually help us communicate better with all people around us as our words will be filled with compassion and mindfulness.
b) Silence is not just reducing the words we speak. Silence also means trying to avoid unnecessary thoughts in a realistic manner. We must not get lost in too many thoughts about the past or be too worried about the future. This is the difficult part. The constant stream of advertisements, news, emails and notifications have made a disturbed mind the new normal. However, with patient practice, we can learn to turn our mind towards silence or even positive thoughts when it gets too distracted.
A simple and scientific practice on silence:
We will find a quiet spot at home or elsewhere where we would not be disturbed for 10 minutes. We may set a timer and put on relaxing music if needed.
We will then just sit quietly with the eyes closed, focusing on the breath and just gently observing it entering and leaving the body through the nose. Random thoughts will naturally arise, we only need to slowly bring our attention back to the breath. The success of the practice is in gently coming back to the breath as many times as required. Thoughts will reduce by themselves with practice.