Significance of silence – part 2
A friend once shared that she can’t sit in silence and meditate because during that duration her mind continuously keeps on reminding her of the fact that she is meditating. This is simple and most apt description of mental noise I ever came across. People in ‘reaction 2’ category don’t often understand why they are unable to sit in silence for 20 minutes. When asked to contemplate, majority of them end up blaming some external source like- temperature of the room, a fly/mosquito around, uncomfortable clothes or seating space, someone in the group making a sound. While the true reason being inability of their body and mind to accept silence for long.
Silence is wonderful and it’s self-healing. However, like any other good habit, inculcating it takes time, patience and dedication. Below are two easy exercises beginners can start with.
Exercise 1– Start with practicing silence during meals. Stay quite while eating your food. You can start this practice initially with one meal, staying silent during which is easiest for you, say – breakfast. Practice it for a week and then extend the exercise to two meals, say-breakfast and dinner. Practice this too for another week before you extend it to the third meal. The last included meal should be the one staying silent during which is most challenging for you. For most of the people it will be the lunch, as they have it in their workplace. However, if you have practiced the exercise well for the previous two weeks you will be amazed at the ease with which you will be able to extend the exercise to the third meal. During this exercise your focus will gradually shift from forcing yourself to stay silent on day 1, to enjoying your food in peace, even in a crowded restaurant on day 30. During week 1 and week 2 once you have adjusted to staying silent, start focusing on the harmony of sounds around you, e.g. sound of cutlery, sound of AC, sound of your teeth and your jaw muscles, sound of pouring water in a glass. Do not extend the practice to third meal till your brain starts tuning to the harmony around effortlessly. This exercise forms a base for overpowering the external noise with your inner silence.
Exercise 2– Listen to 10 minutes of soothing music everyday. Just music, no lyrics. Do not repeat the same music every day. Though you can repeat it after a gap of few days. You have to combine this along with a relaxing activity, something that doesn’t needs much mental and physical activity. E.g.- having your evening tea. The purpose of combining an activity along is to prevent beginners from sleeping, which is a common problem they encounter when told to relax and focus on music. Practice this for a month. You can increase the duration of the activity from 10 to 15 minutes as you start getting comfortable.
You can start both the above exercises together or you can begin with one and start other after a few days. The suggested duration for these exercises is 30 days. However, you have to continue practicing both till the time you attain proficiency. Then culminate them together. Post this, answer the question we started with in ‘part -1’, this time you will find sitting in absolute silence for 20 minutes far easier.