by Pelin Turgut.
“The best of all knowledge, the greatest of all powers, comes from silence.” Swami Rama, Sadhana: The Essence of Spiritual Life.
Oh silence! You either love it or you hate it. Sometimes it feels full and sometimes extremely empty, it can be very awkward, or tender. Have you ever embraced the silence? Dove in, as it were, and embraced it, and let it embrace you too?
It can be scary because it makes us feel vulnerable. We don’t know what we will happen. Sitting with ourselves in the silence we’re not sure if we’ll meet the God within or the voice inside our head that torments us. We’re not sure if we’ll disappear all together, or find ourselves completely.
Swami Rama who belongs to the Sri Vidya tradition tells us that “In the depth of silence is hidden the source of love”. Isn’t that beautiful? In the depth of silence we find love! In the silence, the silence that can scare us, that can make us feel so alone and separate, so disconnected, we actually find love.
At The Practice we try to bring your attention to the silence. No music during classes makes it easier for you to feel it. That can be quite frustrating, I know, it’s nice to have music to take the edge off because your mind can follow the rhythm, get taken away. Sometimes without music to occupy our minds, we get left for the voice (or bully!) in our heads. We can nod along to the music and hold a difficult asana more easily. But without the music to distract our mind, even less physically demanding asanas can suddenly feel much harder.
Your mind starts talking, asking questions, comparing your chair pose to the super yogi’s next to you: “You suck at yoga. Why are you even here?” Or maybe “Oh my God how long are we holding this pose for? It’s been at least 3 minutes. Come on teacher!!”. In the silence of the room your mind gets very loud and that’s kind of the point! Avoiding the noise in your mind won’t make it go away anymore than avoiding an illness will make it magically disappear.
For instance, Moon classes are designed to focus the mind. To get it moving in one direction. Less hyperactive puppy and more single-minded guard dog, ready to work, but calm too. You might hear your teacher saying that you are not your thoughts, you are that which experiences your thoughts.
That might sound weird the first time you hear it. But consider this, if you disappeared, so would your thoughts. They exist in the space that is your mind. You are the sky, the thoughts are the clouds that come and go. You might even like to say they are your guests (and should behave!).
Once your mind is a little calmer, the silence starts to open up to you, and open you up.
Join me in incorporating a little more silence into your life. Perhaps at the end of meditation, abide in the silence for a few moments. Turn off the music next time you step on the mat. Put down your phone, and just sit at the cafe, noticing that the silence is found everywhere, both on the mat and off. In calm and chaos.
As Rod Stryker says “Be willing to venture into the unknown – the silence of your Spirit – as well as the symphony of a full life”. Let silence be the loving foundation of your practice, and life.
If you are willing to embrace silence and discover what it has to reveal, join me for a 3 days/2 nights SILENT RETREAT in a stunning resort in Bali. Our daily schedule will include tantric hatha yoga practices such as meditation, yoga nidra, restorative hatha and moon yoga practice.
Dates for Silent Retreat: 19th – 21st April 2019 and 21st – 23rd June 2019