I began this year’s blog reviewing an article on quiet. I’m wanting to check-in. Are you still practicing? I am. And I’ll be the first to admit I’m not “there” yet. I know this because articles, podcasts, information in general on the importance of quiet continue to find my way. The universe continues to share its wisdom. There is more to know and practice.
This month I’m sharing quotes and passages from other writers and sources. I’m not trying to produce original work – instead I’m practicing, still, and reminding myself of important lessons. Here are a few ideas I’ve been chewing on…
“I have a theory, when our ancient ancestors developed the capacity for language, words became increasingly all encompassing. Words became not only our primary way of engaging with others socially, but they also became the way we each conduct our own inner dialogue. Language became so powerful both interpersonally and intrapersonally, that the web of words in our heads often felt more real to us than the web of life outside our heads. Language was a tool we used describe reality, but it also could become a substitute for reality. We might say it was the original form of virtual reality.” – Brian McLaren, Learning How to See ep. “Re-Wild”
I love this. I re-listened to this part several times, each time blowing my mind. Here I am writing a blog, typing words, and knowing we might need less of them.
Language, words, can become a cage that takes away our freedom. Just look about you right now. Take notice of the first thing you see. Now, notice how that’s connected to a word classifying this object, and likely tied to a story of where and how this was obtained. And now the mind flows to that place in time. Likely other memories will be connected. Language can lead to mind pollution.
Silence is a necessary space around things that allows them to develop and flourish. And not just silence in sound, but absence of words in the mind. Then, we find meaning.
This concept reminds me that when stuck in confusion, or facing a problem, get silent. Let spirit’s wisdom speak TO you.
But the how of getting silent in the mind needs a practice, a procedure. One way is to into nature – see trees, walk up and down a bit, just to listen, watch, observe. This practice helps to shake off the pollution of words, in order to hear the whisper of the heart. Watch creatures soar in silence, witness graceful miracles in motion. Let the heart marinate in this witnessing and reply.
Or, we can practice silence in savasana.
I’m reminded by my teacher, Indu Aurora, that savasana is a pose and a practice. It is the practice and process of undoing, unlearning, unbeing. There is no coincidence savasana is called “corpse pose” and that it is practiced at the end of every single yoga class, every time. The ancients found wisdom in micro-dosing the practice of being a corpse, full surrender, so that when the inevitable time comes, we might let go with grace.
Here is a pose and practice to let go and marinate in silence:
Lie down in a position where gravity can act upon you. Get comfortable. And draw an outline around your body. This might be tracing the body’s limbs or drawing a circle to establish a perimeter around yourself. You might visualize this perimeter with chalk, candles, a line in the sand, etc.
Scan the body from head to toe and observe tends and relaxed areas. When tension is noticed, don’t “converse” about it. Squeeze more tension into that place and then release.
Establish your breath that is quiet, smooth, even and continuous. Think of the qualities of oil being poured. In Sanskrit, a translation for breath is “companion.” Establish a connection to your companion.
Gather your awareness, by way of your breath, into your heart.
Let it stay there.
The duration of this practice could take from 3-15 minutes.
I encourage you to use this method daily, preferable before bed, as well as at the end of every yoga practice.
So, this silence thing doesn’t come easy. Will you keep practicing with me? I’ll check in again in a bit.