Practice of Silence
Many people have been sending me mails of late, asking if there is a definitive practice that I do or attend to personally, which helped lead me to my realization of pure silence or if there is something I can recommend which they can also use in their own lives. As there are many forms of spiritual practice available to you we must both agree that what works for me, may not work for you. As always, the importance of any practice is simply that which leads you to you own heart and the stillness of mind which is living freedom.
The above icon is hung in the entrance way of my home. It says it all about that which I consider my spiritual practice. The major practice that "I" do is simply to become aware of the silent space within, various times during the day, either in work, or at home, upon waking or going to sleep, while working out at the gym or driving in my car. For me: to gently return to this is really the only work necessary. I base this conclusion on the words of two great teachers: Ramana and Nisargadatta. Both of these gentlemen suggest a continuous (as often as one can, within the context of daily life and responsibilities) abiding in the space of silence until freedom is attained. Ramana uses the words "abide in the self" and Nisargadatta uses the expression "dwell in the I am, which leads to silence." In human terms this is merely perceiving the silent space between thoughts and resting or relaxing there whenever one can. Simply stop what you are doing for one second, attune to the silence and see that thoughts pass through you but "you" are always present, silent, and open. At times when this practice is done, waves of absolute bliss appear and there is often a release of gentle laughter, which is probably the nervous system enjoying the freedom from the necessary to maintain a thought at all.
Besides the above "practice" I do maintain a period of absolute bodily stillness in a type of silent meditation every morning, a time just to allow everything to be without my controlling interest to appear. I believe this too has helped maintain the rhythm of silence throughout my day. I continue to read daily, the words of great spiritual teachers with whom I resonate, as a reminder to return to the silence. Then, there is nature, the natural world: the only part of our world not created by human thought. Abiding in nature has been very important on my journey and I try daily to be aware of nature when I am able: watching the sky, the clouds, the formations of the land, the trees, the many animals and birds around us, listening to them, to the wind, to sounds of water, be it rain or stream or ocean. There is something very transforming and calming about nature itself. This is an important part of my "practice." Apart from all this, I tend to limit the amount of TV and radio which I listen to. I maintain my body in good physical condition by eating wholesome foods, mostly fruits and vegetables in raw form. I work out a few days a week and I try to maintain moderation in every thing else.
It is all as simple as "being still and knowing simply that you are." Again, the picture above, which comes from Psalm 46 is what it is all about.
Hope some of this helps. Best to you.
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