Period of un-winding : My first one week of Silence
Observing silence is a journey. A dynamic journey. No two days will be same. No two practices will be same. Though I practiced silence many times before, each time it was different.
Mind operates in a very interesting way. Sometimes predictable and sometimes unpredictable. It is inertia. In Physics Inertia is defined as : "The tendency of a body to maintain it's state of rest or uniform motion unless acted upon by an external force."
This definition is interesting because, Inertia is not just a resistance to move or do something but it also means resistance to stop moving. When a person retires, finds it difficult to stop doing things. You switch off the fan, it still continues to move. End of the day, when you stopped working, still your mind is active. Did you not observe this?
For me it took 3 days to get to some state of silence. First 3 days, mind was very active. Desire to pick up the phone, to look into social media, to talk to someone, to read a book and so on. The urge/pressure to talk/communicate/say something comes up with a force. When it is not fulfilled as there is a decision not to talk, the mind will chatter. Mind creates very many interesting arguments to talk. It says that i may be repressing my desires, it may not be mentally or physically healthy not to talk at all, it may be good to talk in moderation than not talk, what is the use of life if we do not talk and so on. Sometimes the urge will be very powerful. Normally that is the time, we will give-in and talk.
I am not an exception. I consider myself an ordinary human being with all my ups and downs and mood swings. Only thing, i learnt the art of keeping myself balanced during these swings. I know and acknowledge my emotions but do not get carried away by them. For me the pressure to talk was manifesting intermittently, sometimes strong and sometimes a murmur. When i did not fulfill this mental demand, it started manifesting in my dreams. My dreams became more, sleep reduced and feeling a bit restless. In one of my dreams, i was attending a big music concert and was shouting at the peak of my voice!!! Woke up from my sleep as the music was too loud! I could not but smile when i woke up. Mind is a machine. We can re-program. We are the Boss! Please remeber this!
After the third day, i found myself much calmer. Sleep reduced but not restless. More peaceful. Started entering into quieter states of mind. They are similar to thoughtless states, alert and awake. Fourth to seventh day were really nice. Felt rested, energies gathered. Here comes the second stage of "Desire to stop the practice and talk". "Now that you are calm and restful, why do you need to continue?", comes up from inside. We need to persist, if we want to dive deeper.
Different Game : Tuning into Collective Conscious
This time for me, a different game began on the 8th day. It was one of "Intense Suffering". On the seventh day when i went for a walk outside, i came across a dog. It was a black dog, active but sick. She has some terrible skin disease. Happen to make an eye contact and it was super intense. I love animals especially dogs but I can not call myself an activist. I do love them and intend to do something for them.
The eye contact with this dog was super intense. It triggered a whole lot of pain of an embodied being. I deeply felt that this dog was aware of it's previous existences in different bodies. Accidentally this tuned me into the collective consciousness of living beings. It was very painful. Next one week, i suffered beyond description. I suffered not only the pain of animals but of human beings. I was not physically sick. It was psychological. But felt the effects on the body too. I could not sleep. No desire to eat. Lot of body pains. I was not checking my body temperature but it must be hot. I could not control my tears, cried a lot, helplessly. Somewhere at the back of the mind, there was someone watching all this, with no effort. The process went on. Day and night merged. No desire to follow a daily routine.
I used to do daily yoga practice, pranayama and meditation. But could not do anything now. Many dreams, lot of faces popping up. All essentially of pain and suffering. Saw my parents, a few friends who are no more, some of my ancestors, animals, birds, aquatic creatures, human beings, exploitation, killing, pain, death and destruction. Essentially I can summarize this period as "Suffering thoroughly cooked my Soul (well-done)". I did have number of similar experiences in the past 25 years of my spiritual journey but this time it was very different and intense.
Probably on 14th day deep transformation came over me. All tears dried up, dreams stopped, was first time able to eat properly and also, i think i slept better. But thoroughly tired. It was a feeling of post-storm peace. But a deep sense of "Dispassion" (Vairagya) came over me.
Will continue this in the next one. We need to talk about the role of suffering in the process of spiritual evolution and to realize that Joy Is the Nature of the Self!
Keeping your time in mind, I described everything here as minimum as possible. May be somewhere sometime i will elaborate all what i went through.