In a world where it is difficult to find a space or a moment of time that is free from a cacophony of sound, it is refreshing to know that silence can be reached by simply going within, even when surrounded by movement, discordant noise, and agitation.
We can use the analogy of the ocean. If we are sailing on the surface of the ocean, we are subject to the movement of the waves, the currents, and the force and direction of the wind. However, if we dive below, and steadily enter the depths and wonder of the deep, then what tranquillity we can experience. In the same way, if we only hear our superficial consciousness, with all the clamour of things to be done, things left undone, conversations that could have gone better, and worries about the future, we are unable to find calm or silence, even if we find the space and time to be alone. For some, silence is equated with boredom or fear, dryness or loneliness, because those superficial thought processes are full of sorrow, pain, or uncomfortable feelings. Silence in the soul though, is very, very sweet.
The sweetness of silence is the experience we have when we go deep into the spirit. It is like entering a very sacred space. A place where we can see new perspectives and open ourselves to new possibilities. For this we need to move beyond the noise of the mind. The tool to reach this space and experience this sweetness, is through meditation. It is in this that we need the power of thought, not the lack of thought. We can take one spiritual thought and make it the key to move into silence. This is not analytical thought, we do not need problem-solving skills, we need to allow ourselves to go beyond the waves of the surface thoughts.
Firstly, we need to move beyond physical sensations. This is not as easy as it may sound. We are spiritual beings, not physical, but we are combined with the body. We need to move beyond that. One of the ways to help that, is to make sure the body is in balance and comfortable as we start to meditate.
Then we have to go beyond the many things on the surface of our consciousness. There will be echoes of the reverberations of the events of the day; conversations, events and actions all reverberate as we start to meditate. The reason for this is that we are not completely detached from the outcomes of the actions we perform. We are invested in certain outcomes, and so when we sit to meditate, all these thoughts surface. The biggest hindrance are the noises in the mind that are negative. Thoughts of resentment, for example, towards someone who has made us feel offended. These kinds of thoughts, unless we are very careful and aware of them, cause difficulties, if we allow them to expand and become louder and louder. There may also be memories of the past surfacing, event from a distant past, which created an impact, even a traumatic impact.This all creates a noise in our minds. There are also things left unresolved; the pain and hurt we may have caused will also be remembered, all of the unsettled karma. If we are able to watch all this as a detached observer, we will see it all clearly.
However, one way we can help reduce this kind of noise is by living our lives, each day, based on spiritual principles. This will keep the noise at a lower level and then we can become absorbed in the sweetness of silence in a shorter time and more deeply.
Solitude is our best friend in all of this. Solitude is not necessarily being physically alone; solitude is an inner solitude which gives us the deep, loving, nurturing experience of silence. The wonderful thing is that the more we spend time in this solitude and sweet silence, the more we become aware of the existence of a source of spiritual energy. The energy of the Divine, the Supreme, the Being of Light that is so easy to connect with in this experience of silence, because that is the wavelength that the Supreme Being operates on. We can tune into this most powerful source of spiritual energy, and we can replenish ourselves. Once we have experienced this, we realise how essential this experience is. Then we give ourselves the opportunity, again and again, to taste the sweetness of silence.
Bill Simo is a coach and trainer, and teaches Rajyoga with the Brahma Kumaris, based in Madrid, Spain.