On a typical morning in a city, we wake up to screeching alarms, shrill honking of vehicles and buzzing notifications on the phone. Meanwhile, a million thoughts fly across our minds, as this barrage of noise surrounds us. Amid this cacophonous crowd of thoughts, words, opinions and information, we lose sight of silence and the clamour gets louder with each passing day.
Today, the much-needed silence is but a mirage. The need for occasional silent moments is dire. According to Jaya Sangoi, the head of Bangalore branch of Dhamma Paphulla Vipassana Meditation Centre, “When you sit in silence the focus is on your breath. As you inhale and exhale, your mind becomes calmer and sharper and you start realising the subtler realities of mind and matter.”
Buddhist teacher and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh in his book, Silence: The Power of Quiet in a World Full of Noise, says: “All the wonders of life are already here. They are calling you. If you can listen to them, you will be able to stop running. What you need, what we all need, is silence. Stop the noise in your mind in order for the wondrous sounds of life to be heard. Then you can begin to live your life authentically and deeply.”
We live in a world of distractions where silence is hard to come by. In our world, solitude has long been replaced by a multitude of social media, the once quiet life is now a life buzzing with deafening noise. And silence is a necessity.
Elaborating on the magical nature of silence, Sangoi says, “The mind and body share an intimate connection. If anything goes awry in the mind, it gets reflected through sensations in the body. Interestingly, when the mind realises this sensation, it reacts. Silence prevents the mind from reacting to this sensation. It helps you let go. It helps you understand the impermanence of things around you. This is when introspection happens.”
Only in silence do we realise how much noise has filled our lives. Moments of quiet are the only respite from the random thoughts of an ever-occupied mind. Embracing silence and introspection is one effortless way to empty a crowded mind. You don’t need space, time or an ideal setting to introspect–a tiny apartment and the quiet of the woods work just the same. It is in these stolen moments that the clocks stop ticking and your thoughts go still.
Silence gives you the power to choose. It empowers and guides you as your emotional anchor. When the noise stops and silence take over, we have the courage to let go of petty things, forgive people and move on. It helps us to be still, to be present in the now. But most of all, it helps us discover ourselves.
Listen to the silence, it is trying to say something.