How To Live In The Sphere Of Silence

This world is not for cowards. Do not try to fly. Look not for success or failure. Join yourself to the perfectly unselfish will and work on. Know that the mind which is born to succeed joins itself to a determined will and perseveres.
Live in the midst of the battle of life. Anyone can keep calm in a cave or when asleep. Stand in the whirl and madness of action and reach the Centre. If you have found the Centre, you cannot be moved.

Swami Vivekananda

In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in a clearer light, and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness. Our life is a long and arduous quest after Truth.

Mahatma Gandhi

Supreme truth can only be contained in silence – not in finite words. Silence is the background against which everything exists. The earth rotates on itself and the planets revolve around the sun and the cells are constantly moving in our body. The baby grows from cell to a fully formed human being. But no one hears the sound , even if it exists. It is all silent. Silence is our source. If we can connect ourselves with this Silence in the world of sound and noise, we can find Peace.

The body also says the same by giving us one mouth and two eyes, ears, hands, legs and nostrils. It asks us to work in Silence. Silence is not only verbal. It should also include silence of the mind. We constantly keep talking to ourselves and this makes us restless and uneasy. Therefore we also need to have a process to silence the mind. Once we silence the mind, we can see the Divine everywhere….in the cow dung and the beautiful landscape. Then when we speak, we shall speak the voice of the Divine. All this needs one-pointed focus. The mind will wander but you need to gently bring it back to the point of focus whether it is the breath or the Mantra.

We cannot do this if we focus on the outside world all the time. We should go into silence at least for 1 hour and let the experience of this one hour permeate the other 23 hours. The aim is to consecrate our life completely to the Silence and the Divine. You can do this at any time or place, but the seers say it is better to do it in the early morning and at a dedicated place so that the place and time are filled with the correct vibrations and will help us as we continue to practice. It is also said that if we do a practice for 21 days, it becomes a habit. So as an initial goal, aspire to do the practice for 21 days. What do we do when we go into silence. A good practice is to become aware of your body and aware of your breathing. The mind will be filled with thoughts but become a passive observer. Let the thoughts come and let them go. Then the mind will become still with time; just like the leaves which move with the wind continue to move after the wind has stopped and after some time the leaves stop moving. This takes time and one has to be patient with the mind. But the fruits of the practice are well worth the toil.

This process requires discipline. This means that you commit to the practice and not be carried away by the demands of your everyday life. You will commit when you realise that this practice has value and adds value to your life. This change to your life will mean that you will need to move out of your comfort zone and if your persist, this way of living will become your comfort zone. This requires effort and it will seem that you fail many times, but failure just means another step towards the goal. We should persist and be consistent with our practice for the process to give results. After all you cannot make a baby, do a PhD or grow a tree in one day. This is so much more than any of these and therefore will take time.

We are not monks who have renounced family life. So we do have duties towards our family, career, society and country. This path of duty requires that we analyse the last 24 hours of our life and set our goals for today, tomorrow and long-term goals( the next week, the next year and the next five years). This helps us analyse what we did, accept it, see what our vision and goals are, so that we can move towards them. Do your work as service and prayer and when you communicate, be consistent, conscientious and committed.

We will also commit some time to read a non-fiction book for the sake of developing our knowledge every day. We shall read with concentration and remember the important points made. Then you will close the book and note down the points. When we keep doing this every day, we shall make a summary of the book that we have read. This will develop our mind and the faculty of short-term memory.

We will also pray to God daily. We can pray in a mundane way, if we want to. But what will help us evolve is a prayer like this:

Open my mind, my heart, my life to your Light, your Love, your Power.
In all things may I see the Divine.

When we commit ourselves to this process, we begin to gradually master ourself and know ourself.  Knowing ourselves is the journey and mastery over our self is the destination. As we blossom in this process, anger drops away. Ego goes away as everything is done as a consecration to the Divine. Detachment develops as we come to realise that everything is transient; ours only to hold momentarily. Then we become humble. We become balanced and treat success and failure the same. We start to live in an atmosphere of peace even though storms may rage around us. Once we know and master ourselves, anger being dropped, ego nowhere to be seen, detachment, humility and balance having become part of us and we live in a world of peace, we can then truly love ourselves and the world.

( This post was inspired after reading the book, In the sphere of silence by Vijay Eswaran).

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