Silence keeps in itself the possibility to perceive “something different”, and this is a very important aspect, because it is the only thing which can determine a different degree of presence.
The habitual thoughts can’t be stopped right from the beginning. We have to understand that the human brain is a system that, close to the coordination of the body’s activities, it is also designed to think, and until it functions, it will perform its work. What we can do is to make a distance between ourselves and thoughts, entering into a condition in which all this mental noise begins progressively to lose importance, consistence, power, and strength.
Through such a practice, performed with daily constancy, associative thoughts will become rarefied. What must be understood is that if we don’t put importance to the contents of our mind, they will progressively lose their power on us until they completely vanish… and this is the silence so claimed from the great teachers and masters from all ages; a condition of absence of a noise which follows us 24 hours a day, even when we sleep.
And, this is one of the most common problems of human beings – the insomnia, a problem that probably torments even some of us who read this post, isn’t it?
We wake up, go to work, come back home, eat, dedicate ourselves to our beloved and to some home tasks, and at the end of the day, we go to sleep bringing with us to bed our whole day, with its problems and stresses. And, falling asleep becomes a difficult task.
This doesn’t mean rest. And, also, this doesn’t mean to live. We survive our days… such as in a battle.
We are slaves of ourselves, of our own habits and limitations, and that’s the reason of why, if we wish to live, experience and perceive a more “real” life, we have to “decongest” our mind from its contents. We have to pass some minutes in silence. I mean, in real silence, not only without speaking with anyone, but also to not allow the mind to speak, instead of us… to us.
There are surely hundreds of practices of meditational and not the type that could be suggested in order to do this, but what we intend, here, is simply to dedicate some moments to collect ourselves- to find during our day, some moments (at least one) for an act of intimacy.
Just us, in company with nothingness. When you find a calm moment at home, try to listen to the silence, present everywhere, below the curtain of noise even in the big cities. We can even seek for the silence in the space between the noises.
A noise is a disharmonic sound, but it gives also the possibility to discern the difference between what is chaotic and what is more harmonious and balanced- in this case, the silence. So, through the gap between two sounds, we can listen to the silence. It’s not so difficult, it’s enough to synchronize our ears with attention firstly to a noise, and then to what follows when the noise disappears- the silence. Also, we can notice the same noise, and then putting our attention to the physical space that separates us from it.
It’s not a metaphor. Just try it! Indeed, if we learn to listen to the space that separates a sound from us, we’ll be automatically synchronized with a field where the sound doesn’t exist, and this is the dominion of the silence.
What must be understood is that the dominion of noise is contained in the more vast dominion of the silence. The silence is the container, and the noise is that which is contained. Just ponder about that: all matter is composed from space- between the molecules, atoms, etc… We are not accustomed to perceive it, but it still exists. This is a very important thing to be understood, because that is what allows us to perceive the space of silence that separates us from the noise.
Otherwise, then we could imagine, space is the most common host, and space conceptually means silence. This is the reason why many teachings claim that silence is our “natural state”, and it’s true- the problem is that we are not used to put our attention toward it. If we take a look in depth, it’s not so strange the reason for this behavior. We live in a society where the cult of image is the alpha and the omega, no one- even those who claim themselves enlightened practitioners- is immune from this. Image is form. Thoughts are form, silence not. So, that’s why we perceive our mind through our thoughts. We are convinced that thoughts are the mind, and not only the content of the same.
So, listening to the space between us and the noise means to concentrate on the absence of sound- form: silence. This can be experienced in the environment that surrounds us and in ourselves, through perceiving our mind- container.
Usually, when people ask me about experiences concerned with determined practices, I don’t like to describe too much because, on one hand, it is like reading a road map instead of walking the road with our legs; on the other side, even if the individual experiences are similar to each other, it’s also true that every one of us experiences them in his own personal way.
But, this time, I’ll say something about what waits for us on the other side of the veil of mental noise. In the dominion of silence and space, many things become possible. For example, it’s possible to experience a voluntary, focused, conscious, decided thought, with intensity and a concentration that is exempt from the usual distractions, and such focusing allows us to gain practical, concrete results.
What else? It is also possible that the perception of time changes, to become able to think in a very fast way, a skill that becomes useful in many life situations through finding a solution in a moment.
But these are not the aims of the practice of silence. They are only “side effects”, very pleasurable, but the main advantage of this practice is the possibility to listen, feel the most inner fields of our essence, a task that is ordinarily impossible because of the usual inner and outer noise in which we live.
Ok, it’s a practice that requires some time to realize some results, and it’s not guaranteed that the results are those we expect. But, anyway, it’s a great way to calm, stop the chaos in which we live, keeping in our heads, heart and life a little bit less confusion.