Inner silence forms the core of all kinds of meditations, whether the practice is one of transcendental meditation of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Vipassana or any other. Various faiths endorse silence as a means to spiritual advancement. In Hindu thought, silence is considered an important element for inner growth. Buddhism regards it as a key factor for spiritual enlightenment. Sufism insists on the importance of finding the silence within. Christian denominations also employ silence in a variety of ways.
In essence, received wisdom indicates that deep in the ocean of inner silence, one can experience the Divine and the ultimate reality of the present moment.
The Upanishads say: "There is something beyond our mind which abides in silence. It is the supreme mystery beyond thought. Let one's mind and one's subtle body rest upon that and not upon anything else.
The physical sounds of the outside world, a depressing environment, ego, anger, jealousy and greed are some factors that obstruct our journey into the realm of silence and prevent us from reaping its wonderful benefits. These stumbling blocks, therefore, need to be removed before we can actually embark on the journey.
Make up your mind like the sadhu who intended to climb the mountain to meditate there. In the middle of a storm, a sadhu reached an inn and the owner asked where he was going. ''I'm going to the mountains,'' he answered. ''Forget it,'' said the innkeeper, ''it's a risky climb, and the weather is awful.'' ''But i'm going up,'' answered the sadhu, ''if my heart gets there first, it will be easy for my body to follow.''
We all have the potential to be an observer on the top of a hill, utterly silent and alone just watching and listening to the stillness of our heart. It is the heart that can quieten the mind.
This road is traversed alone. To enter into silent mode, you don't need to perform rituals or use gadgets. You may visit a quiet place a temple, a garden, a hilltop or a tranquil corner of your home. Begin by simply withdrawing yourself from the outside world and shut out the cacophony; start moving slowly towards silence. Automatically you are led to the inner world of quiet and stillness.
Be aware of the thoughts that cross your mind but make no effort to cling to them. Behold and listen mindfully; experience the ultimate reality of the present moment. Your true self begins to surface; your contact with the Divine established in the eternal oasis of tranquillity; and ''you can'' as Sathya Sai Baba says, ''hear the footsteps of God when silence reigns in the mind''. It is here that you become the witness of silence a silence that outshines your ego and enables you to reach a state of pure awareness.
It is this quietude that Osho calls ''Just a simple, innocent silence'' an inner silence that leads you to meditation and wisdom, a process of purification and Self-realisation. As you go deeper into it, there comes a moment when you reach the very pinnacle of your potentiality. Once you overcome obstacles and delve into blissful silence, transformative doors begin to open up for you. Free of clutter, the tranquil mind leads you to peace. The light you encounter during the process fills your heart with love and sure, you begin to listen to the silent symphony of the whispers of your soul.
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