Thursday, October 13, 2005

Silencing the Mind

Silencing the Mind

I need a moment of silence--here and now--to center myself again.


I've extolled the virtues of silence before. We often think of life as being filled with activities and neglect the "empty spaces" between them. We always feel that if we are not actively doing something or talking to someone, we are not being useful. How mistaken we are!

I've said it before in a previous posting: it is in moments of silence that wisdom arises. But why is that so?

We cannot talk ourselves into becoming a wiser person. There must a time when talking has to stop and the mind--both conscious and subconscious--are allowed to assimilate the information. The body regenerates itself when we rest; the human body in general is self-healing, we just need to give it the opportunity (by not stressing it further through rest and sleep) to allow it to do its work.

The mind works in a similar fashion. You can pump all the information in the world into your brain, but at some point it will tire. When tiredness is felt, whether mentally or physically, the mind and the body is telling us that it needs time to do housekeeping. The brain needs to subconsciously file, compare and assimilate the information received. Mental digestion takes place best when all input is temporarily halted.

The subconscious mind kicks into high-gear when all sensory inputs are minimized. All creative ideas arise deep from the subconscious. The subconscious mind, when fully developed, taps into the universal creative wellspring, into the collective unconscious. The silent mind tunes in to the natural frequency of the universe.

Monks regularly take vows of silence. The great Mahatma Gandhi during his lifetime, used to spend one day of the week in complete silence. People around him would communicate with him on that day through written notes.

The divine in all of us unfolds when we have successfully quieten down the mental noise inside. Sit down and start listening to that noise. How do you make it go away?

Well, you just let it go away naturally by not adding more noise to it.

Observe it: the noise is but residual thoughts, expressions of hope and desire, likes and dislikes--all running wild inside your head like an unruly class of students when the teacher is not around.

When you are able to see how "childish" these noisy thoughts are, then you will slowly let them go. Without the support you give them, they lose energy very quickly and die away. You must realize that they are all sustained by you--by the promptings of your ego.

Let them go. Let your mind reconnect to its creative wellspring. And watch how it blooms.

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