Mauna: The Yogic practice of Silence we should all try
I'm not sure when I made this decision to go silent for a day. I guess I just developed my connection to this inner intelligence so well that when it tells me to stop and do nothing, I don't wink, I just stop. There were some signs, of course: People were talking to me in a normal tone of voice, but it felt like they were screaming at me. I just wanted everyone to shut up and take a seat.
Don't get me wrong, I love talking! Just for you to understand, I named all my plants and I speak to each one of them every day and I also have entire conversations with my dog Boni... So, try to imagine how hard it was for me to stay silent for an entire day.
The thing about talking, well let me use a better term: communicating, is that you are using your energy for it. Simple as that. When you are “just talking”, I have to tell you, my friend, you are not “just talking”. The same goes for texting, sending emails, watching TV or my favourite Netflix, listening to music...
You are processing information all the time and more: exchanging energy, all sorts of energy. Have you noticed that we rarely experience silence? Try to go up a really high mountain. That's silence. So, going back to what brought me here today, I was tired of being bombarded with information from everywhere and decided to go silent for a day. No "just talking", no Netflix, no phone... No nothing. Well, a book: The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. They say it only compromises about 5% of the practice. 95% sounds perfect to me!
Another thing about communicating all the time is that you get to a point where you are reactive 24/7. You are so used to talk, text, read, comment, respond that the stimulus is not even there but you are ready! Ever heard about stress? Well... Take it in...
Bear in mind that I'm not saying that we should not communicate ever, that it's bad for you or something like that, I'm not. I know my plants need a chat now and then! I just want us to be aware, that's all. 24 hours of silence will give you enough time to hear yourself think and realize what is it that is really going through your mind. The silence will help you identify the crazy stories you are telling yourself so you can address them and more: since you have twenty-four hours of nothingness going on, the reactive state goes down, you feel more relaxed...
So, are you ready to give it a try? I got 10 observations that may help, please read below.
Do some research on the silence practice (Mauna) but don't get too caught up on it. You are a beginner, just follow the general lines and you will for sure benefit from the practice.
The practice of silence means no interaction with the outside world. Let everyone know that you are not going to be available for 24 hours.
Reduce all distractions possible. I had my dog, and I'm taking care of another one. Now I know that it would be better if was all by myself. Next time, I will ask someone to look after Boni.
That leads me to this one, very important: if you can, don't go outside. It will compromise your practice if someone comes and talk to you. Notice that gestures are also part of communication, they are a "no-no". I had a note in my pocket in case someone would approach me, but it is not pleasant to try to avoid people at all cost.
Have a book to read and don't plan too much, just think about a few things that you want to do. I knew I wanted to practice Yoga and meditate.
Start reducing noise a few hours before you actually start with the practice. I turned my phone off first, watched something on YouTube and turned the laptop off after it and put it away. Then I drank a cup of tea in complete silence, wrote on my diary and went to bed.
You will likely feel sleepy. It's normal since you have nothing to do. Sleep, it's okay. I took like 3 long naps, it felt like heaven!
About the book, I started with a novel but my imagination ran wild and it felt like I was watching TV, so I put it away and grabbed The Power of Now. Huge difference! I would advise you to choose a book that will not help you escape, but to look inwards. That is totally my personal preference. At the end of the day, it is up to you.
You will feel bored, emotional, maybe you will cry... We never know what comes up from an experience like that because most of us spend more time looking out than looking inward so we may be shocked with what we'll find. Again, it is normal, embrace it. You are owning your truth. Now you know what's up so, more power to you!
Take this time to meditate. It will do wonders, I promise.
I totally understand that not everyone has the time to do this. If you have kids, for example, I can see that it is not that easy. But we don't need to go all the way to 24 hours. We can implement Mauna practice in our daily life reducing distractions, looking more inwards, not being so attached to our phones and by being silent a few hours at a time.
Listen to silence; it has so much to say... - Rumi
I really, really hope this helps. Take good care of yourself.