Why silence is crucial for meditation
Have you ever tuned into the silence within? Think of the moment, when the house is quiet, the chores are done for the day, what is it that you do? Tina Mukerji explains why silence is crucial for meditation.
Every word is like an unnecessary stain on silence and nothingness. - Samuel Beckett
Most people find silence traumatising and nerve-racking as humans are inherently social and communal creatures. Every time I’d slip into comfortable silence my friends would chide me. “Your silence is deafening”, “It’s positively driving me crazy”; I would hear such caustic remarks and I brushed it off as being an INFT personality on the Myers-Briggs scale. Silence was a way for me to touch base with my thoughts and I’d find it a rather healing experience, but for some people nothing was scarier than listening to their own thoughts; might have something to do with their extroverted side being prominent in their personalities. Thoughts can come from a dark place within the subconscious, and it can effectuate fear. The modern society is aching under numerous addictions, the very opposite of which is connection. We are so afraid to connect with ourselves, then how can we effectively connect with others?
Have you ever tuned into the silence within? Think of the moment, when the house is quiet, the chores are done for the day, what is it that you do? Do you just find yourself staring at the television, mostly unaware of the mindless nonsense spewing from it while your mind aimlessly wanders hither and thither. My friend, you simply do not know the bliss you’re missing out on!
Switch off that television and sit comfortably. Light a scented candle and darken the room. Now gaze gently at the candle flame without blinking once. If you blink, then just begin the practice from scratch. It’ll take some time to stop blinking endlessly because of discomfiture, but it will happen and then the light will become rainbow coloured. But it needs at least a good six months of dedicated practice to reach this stage.
This simple exercise will help you train the incessant chatter in the brain. The negative thoughts can surely find you while you’re candle gazing, but do not give into their nefarious intent of destabilizing your sense of self. Feel those thoughts burn to ashes in the fire of the candle. Burn them all, till nothing is left! The mind will stop staring at the abyss, and will definitely not wander there.
Make sure the room is as silent as it can be and once you're completely calm and relaxed, you can start welcoming the Silence! You can repeat self-affirmations like, The Silence is so blissful or pleasurable! I love the Silence!
This practice of welcoming the silence will help you better adjust to any stressful situations you’re dealing with. The outside world is a disturbing cacophony of noises that over-expose us to auditory stimuli that in turn, trigger the nervous system. The incessant sound of a ceiling fan or the hum of the AC, the windows creaking, loud music playing in the neighbourhood loudspeakers, neighbours fighting, there is no respite. We’re twenty-four-seven being bombarded with sound and our bodies become hyper-stimulated, unable to relax.
Candle gazing and the practice of silence is a way for us to align our centre and recharge our batteries. From this fecund space that silence creates, we become flooded with creative ideas. We also develop the concentration to cultivate those brilliant ideas and see them to fruition.
Loneliness is when we crave company because of solitude, but Alone-ness is when you enjoy your own company. In the state of Alone-ness your thoughts do not scare you, you can face your emotions and feelings, you’re grounded and stable. Loneliness on the other hand drives one to addiction. Addiction is a way of running away, but connection makes you want to stay in the present, fully aware and facing your problems.
There is quite a corpus of literature to suggest that silence improves blood pressure and bolsters immune functions. It also repairs the brain chemistry, regulates hormones, thereby regulating moods and emotions. The mind feels pure, clear and fluid, ready to tackle new challenges.
As Lao Tzu said: "Silence is a source of great strength!"
Once you connect to this blissful state of silence, everything fades away. So, take a break from the constant notifications on your phone and the din of the crowd and traffic and find the strength to cultivate alone-ness and Silence! Let the purge begin!
The article has been authored by Tina Mukerji, a soul guide working with Astrology, Tarot, Psychism, Yoga, Tantra, Breathwork and Mantras. She works to discover the inherent archetypes, by studying astrological charts.