The Importance of Silence

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By Geeta Maraj
August 13th Edition

Silence exerts a power of its own, where introspection, reflection, and tranquility of the mind lends greater ground for peace within. Through silence, clarity of thought and action become more streamlined. Silence of its own brings a distinctive inner energy which can only be understood through practice.

As a form of yogic cleansing of the mind, ‘mouna’ or a vow of silence for a period of time is practiced. This brings about considerable peace as verbalization energy is converted into energy of the spirit, which in turn develops stronger will power. It is at this point that meditation becomes enjoyable and successful.

We use words simply to fill the void of silence. Silence makes us uncomfortable, so we seek to chatter. We connect with others through words for the sake of communicating and most times, an empty connection is supplemented by increased chatter. Such conversations bear no relevance to the improvement of our being or psyche.

A quote by Rumi, a 13th century Sufi mystic, says, ‘In Silence there is eloquence. Stop weaving and see how the pattern improves.” When we make our mind still we discover that our energy becomes one to which others are attracted. This is apparent when we sit amongst those with a higher understanding of the spirit. Hardly is there need to utter a word yet we feel revitalized. There is a communication which occurs from a deeper perspective than general awareness. When we attune to it, we become exposed to the benefits of silence to our deeper self.

How to begin a practice of Silence
Each day for a short period of time practice silence. Or you may practice silence on a specific day or at a specific time once a week. This allows us to refocus, and reenergize the mind and the body. This is the period that spiritual seekers use to connect with a higher realization.

Another way to prepare yourself for periods of silence is to slowly decrease your length of time talking. Pay attention to what you say and how it is received. Are your words well intentioned? What feelings do your words bring about to others? Try not to be argumentative without purpose. Arguments destroy energy which can be utilized to nourish the self more beneficially. We are all entitled to our own views and opinions, beliefs and convictions. While you may think your opinion is beneficial, you cannot force change, as others equally are entitled to their views as yourself. Therefore it is best not to try to burn your energy uselessly by imposing your opinion as law but let life follow its path if no heed is taken.

An additional way of preparing yourself for the practice of silence is to observe the company you keep and what is gained from your conversations. It is suggested that an aspirant evaluates what energy their company and conversations brings. Company that is peaceful and positive in nature will provide nourishing energy to the body and mind. Company that is negative, condescending or lazy will sicken the mind, leaving you feeling exhausted and weak. By observing your energy, and welcome good company while abstaining from negative company, the mind becomes calmer, and the practice of silence becomes easily attained.

During your periods of silence, try not to repeatedly assert silently, ‘I won’t talk, I won’t talk.’ This will only make the mind excitable and calmness will not prevail. Simply go about your tasks silently, observing the mind and how your body reacts to this period of no words, where you are enjoying ‘your moment’ with your best companion – yourself.

During introspection, the mind itself becomes the subject of study. Basically, a fraction of the mind studies the remaining portion of the mind. In other words, the higher mind studies the lower mind through observation and evaluation of thoughts. Self-analysis, self-reliance, and self-determination are the three main aspects of our being which serves to elevate our life status during our sojourn.

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