Thursday, September 17, 2009

Proceeding in Silence

Words - a verbal expression of thoughts. As babies we are encouraged to learn to talk. The more languages we know the prouder our parents are of us. Language is considered a determinant of IQ. The spoken word has great value - listen to ministers, politicians, teachers, women in general and even children. Everyone wants to be heard. The written word is another powerful expression of thoughts. So much can be learnt from the written word.

Our mind is running constantly. Often the mind follows a well traveled path each day. If I consciously watch my thoughts I find that there are very few new ideas that are generated by my mind. Most of my thoughts are about my family, my life, my environment with very little newness in the train of thoughts themselves.

Armed with this knowledge I can either re-train my mind to think new thoughts or to become silent. Whenever a thought is being repeated I do two things - one is to let it flow through my mind without resistance. There is a lot of truth to the statement - what you resist, persists. Allowing a thought to flow is to accept the thought and let it pass through the mind without trying to stop it by blaming or priding myself for thinking it. The second is to not build on the old thought. This is difficult to do with the fertile mind I have. An insignificant thought can be made significant by building on it. This happens most when I am meditating. The plant needs to be watered. This simple thought could be just a reminder to get a job done. But my mind can take it further. What if I moved the plant from the Southeast corner to the Northwest. That would mean moving the sofa to the opposite wall. That would expose the ugly mark on the wall. There are quite a few marks on the walls all over the house. The popped nails need to be taken care of too. I should call and get a quote for getting the interior painted. What first - the paint job or the deck? Having a deck would be so great. We could barbecue all summer. I could sit out and meditate. Oh I am supposed to be meditating right now.

To retrain the mind to think new thoughts is a painstaking process. Developing new interests is one way of doing it. Research oriented minds are blessed. Their trains of thought are never boring. They know what thinking outside the box is all about and unconsciously they can lead their minds to run through interesting avenues. I have to consciously make the effort to do so. The results of being able to take the mind to untrodden territory can be far reaching in the physical realm. It is also very tiring and stressful.

Silencing the mind even if it is for short periods of time refreshes and rejuvenates it. Focusing on breathing or imagining myself as a beam of soothing light in space, or envisioning myself in a beautiful forest surrounded by trees, birds, flowers and water can bring my mind to a point of emptiness that is surprisingly overwhelming. Afterwards there is a sense of joy and peace.

The silence that is part of a library or a place of worship is almost palpable for me. For some reason a myriad of thoughts that need to be expressed right then crowd my mind. I write best when I am in this physical silence. Often though I could be surrounded by noise and still 'feel' the Silence within. That is the time when I feel a joyous peace within. Very different feelings - one wants to make me express myself the other wants me to remain silent.

I wonder does Silence bring me Inner Peace or does Inner Peace lead me into Silence? Or are they one and the same thing?


  1. Thinking nothing in silence is also thinking! Its a circle but focus is perhaps to reduce the chaos in the thought process. love your writing!- Kaustuva

  2. Thanks Kaustuva. There is really a point of stillness that is truly thoughtless. It is worth experiencing.


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