In my seminars most of the times we eventually come to a point where we realise the importance of operating from “Silence”. When we are silent inside, we are able to behave according to our true intentions. Silence helps us to make best of our decisions that help us in long-term. Opposite of this will be to take decisions based on impulse that stem from anger or greed that has a root of fear. Hence it is so very important to develop the silence within us, where our decisions will be based on freedom (simply for play) and not fear. With my current state of being here is my take of how to develop silence within us.
10 years back I had attended SSY with Sanjay Thakkar, mainly to learn meditation. Over the period of few years being with Sanjayji, I learnt 5 ways of developing silence according to teachings of SSY:
Resting beyond sleep
When we rest, we are able to generate energy to create what we want to create in our life. However, most of us are aware of only one type of rest and that is sleeping. Although sleep helps our physical body to rest, we still need cleansing and resting of our other bodies also known as Kosh. We need to clean and rest our Annamay Kosh, Pranamay Kosh, Manomay Kosh, Vigyanmany Kosh, and Anandmay Kosh.
Annamay Kosh (Food Sheath)
Annamay Kosh is matter in the form of physical body sustained by intake of food. It includes five organs of perception (sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch), and the five organs of action (prehension, locomotion, articulation, excretion, procreation). To cleanse and rest Annamay Kosh we need to practice Upavas (fasting), Asanas (physical postures), and other practices that cleanse our Muladhara Chakra (lower most chakra). Everyday basis the more Sattvic food we eat, the more silence we develop. Sattvic food means seasonal foods, fruits, dairy products, nuts, seeds, oils, ripe vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and non-meat based proteins. Check out more details of Sattvic food here. Sattvic food helps in developing rational thinking and keeps us calm. Rajasic food develops more of aggression and Tamasic food develops more of withdrawal in us. All types of food have their own advantages and can be used in right situation. Rajasic food can be used when we need to be courageous and take the risk. Tamasic food can be used when we need recovery.
Pranmay Kosh (Vital Air Sheath)
Pranmay Kosh is realised by us through breath. The more Oxygen we get, the more silence will be developed in us. So practice like Pranayama, eating pranic rich food helps to cleanse Pranmay Kosha. Any practice that helps increase our lungs capacity will also help in this.
Manomay Kosh (Mind Sheath)
The mind (thinking, feeling and willing) along with the five sensory organs (taste – tongue, smell – nose, vision -eyes, hearing – ear, and touch – skin, is said to constitute the Manomay Kosh or “mind-sheath”. The more we rest our mind, the more silence will develop. To rest our mind one can practice meditation, being in and observing nature, admiring an art form etc. It’s very important to understand the difference between entertainment and admiring an art form. Entertainment is stimulating and exhaust us where as the beauty of an art can take us in a meditative state.
Vigyanmaya Kosh (Intellect Sheath)
Vigyanmaya Kosh is our intellect, the faculty which discriminates determines or will. Our intellect that constantly keeps judging right-wrong, good-bad etc. A large part of this Kosh is in the realm, of the subconscious and is a major repository of information. Our subconscious mind is very powerful and that’s why in spite of strong will (conscious mind) we are not able to stop judging people around us. To rest our intellect and cleans it we can challenge their beliefs and acquire clarity. Constant seeking of truth and clarity of things helps in cleansing our intellect. The most effective way to rest our intellect is to live in truth. We live in truth when our thought, words and actions are in congruent. That means – we speak what we think and feel and we do what we say.
There is a number of other practices and therapies that help clear our blocks from the subconscious mind and belief system. Some of the modalities I use are Presence Process and Rebirthing Breathwork.
Anandmay Kosh (Bliss Sheath)
Anandamaya means composed of Ananda or bliss. Bliss or ceaseless joy not connected with body or mind. When this Kosh has cleansed one experiences joyfulness and bliss. Resting our Ego (sense of identity) helps in cleansing this Anandmay Kosh. When we take our roles and responsibilities too seriously we develop EGO – “the identity”. When we rest the ego, that means when we realize that life is just a game and play it sincerely and not seriously, then we rest our ego.
When we Play, we forget our sense of identity. There is the difference in matches that keep scores and Play. The play is purpose less and when we keep score in a match, we become serious, which is opposite of play. We can learn to play from children. When we do something for our inner happiness, forget time and space, and don’t want to stop, that is when we are playing. If we enjoy our work like this, even that can be a play for us. With my increasing research in parenting and play, I’ve realised that we can improve our joy, relationships and health by practising play in our life. It could be as simple as singing, dancing and drama in our life. When we follow our passion, we play.
When we get busy with our day to day life, how one can remember all this? It is almost impossible to practice anything unless it is part of our routine. Hence to follow any practice I always suggest it to make it a routine habit or family and social culture. This way there are enough hooks we create to follow it through. For each of the Kosh mentioned above:
- Annamay Kosh – Have 50% of raw vegetables in your meal and include lots of fruits for snacks.
- Pranmay Kosh – Practice Pranayam at least once a day. One can also practice Presence Process and Rebirthing Breathwork (these also helps in cleansing Vigyanmaya Kosh).
- Manomay Kosh – Practice Meditation for 15 minutes twice a day. If one is too busy then, they should meditate thrice a day.
- Vigyanmay Kosh – Practice Presence Process and Rebirthing Breathwork. One can also attend Bhava Samadhi Training once in six months. Listening to masters’ wisdom and gaining clarity on human consciousness can also help.
- Anandmay Kosh – Best practice is Play. Follow your passion. Dream and chase your dreams without being attached to it, like a child, ready to drop it anytime. Express your emotions in superlative ways with the song, dance and drama.
As I was writing this I remembered one XBox advertisement that says “Life is short, Play more”. Play more to be in silence.