Hi, it has been a while since I entered the blogosphere and I have started getting emails saying “where are you?” Well, I haven’t been anywhere, perhaps I have been away in my head, but not in my body. Rie has been away on a silent vipassana meditation retreat for a couple of weeks and I have joined her in spirit. It is funny how when we live in silence we often see the meaninglessness of sound. The world that we live in is full of noise. In my silent time I question ‘why?’
Think about the average day. Often we will wake to the noise of an alarm clock and, step straight into the busyness of family. In the shower we might have music playing, then over breakfast the television or radio is telling us the news, kids to school, us to work or where ever radio on in the car, and then the noise of the day. And so it goes on until our head once again hits the pillow, though often that time may not be silent either because the noises of the day are often still ringing in our head and may even infest our dream world as well.
I have been on many silent retreats and meditation courses. To begin with it was a shock. I found the silence difficult and needed to say things and have people say things to me, as if in someway it would prove to me that I did actually exist. It was as though I needed other people to validate my existence. In the silence, that is the rule of most programmes, I would begin to hear another sound, it was the sound of myself.
Once the noise of the outside world stops all that there is, is the inner noise. All the bits of me that I had been avoiding by filling my space with the noise of life or other people’s problems, suddenly assert itself and shout “me too”. Then the letting go begins. Often an emotional out pouring or abreaction
After a few days I would settle into the true silence, and some thing that I have come to know as “The Knowing Silence” would engulf me in a warm sea of energy. And in that peace of external and internal silence I would begin to hear the answers to my problems.
By the end of the programme, or course, when we were allowed to speak again, I would often feel like I didn’t really have anything to say. And, as I went back into the world I would have the heightened awareness of the meaninglessness of most sound, most conversation, and media. With it comes the realisation that for most of us external noise is the thing that we use to avoid facing up to and, dealing with our inner needs.
So how about today you find somewhere quiet, sit, close you eyes, relax, let go of the world and, just for a few minutes, listen to you. The voice within you might surprise you. Maybe you might even consider booking yourself on a Vipassana course at Dhamma Dipa! and really get to know yourself.