'A sense of humour lends you poise, it gives you balance and it helps you to bend without breaking'

(HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda)

Menorise; Saturday Sayings

maEn
Mauna - silence.

Put your hands up (okay hit some keys in the comments box) all those who have experienced true silence.

Before you are too quick to come forward, perhaps you'll allow me to expand. Almost without fail, all of you would have cast your minds around to recall when you last were somewhere that you felt was silent. It would most likely have been an environmental situation that came together for you to think, 'oh how quiet it is here'.

In having that thought, you broke mauna. Oh yes, dear readers, the outside can be as silent as the vacuum of the cosmos, but the noise continues to rage within you!

Now, let's try that again. Put your hands up…

That monkey mind ensures we know not the silence of the Spirit. It rages at us as we sit in contemplation, as we watch the sunset, as we try to sleep. We are a veritable cacophony within our bodies, minds and spirits. A large part of Eastern spiritual practice is based on attempts at connecting the jiiva with the Aatman, transcending the body and mind. It is one practice which has spread around the globe… more on the actual subject of meditation on Monday. Today, though, let us focus on the practice of silence.

To bring the mind into readiness for meditation-proper, it is necessary to exercise in the discipline expected of it. This is achieved by setting a daily saadhana, a period of time in which there will be no speaking and one minimises the noise input also. Mostly it is best to be undertaken on rising. Having completed morning prayers and devotions or exercises, resolve to not speak until you arrive at work, or by a specific time on the clock (9 am, say). In that time, it is not only about not speaking, but it is also about keeping the thoughts as quiet as possible. Thoughts rage most when there is stimulation for them such as radio, family, birds… you name it, the monkey will find some distraction and start raising a ruckus!

For the majority of us, it is virtually impossible to achieve environmental silence. Even if we live in the countryside, there will be weather creating whispers, the birds start to yell, the insects will rustle! The trick is to then draw within oneself and place all that is external at a distance and shut it off with the mind. Keep the mind busy on silencing the exterior, and it starts to forget making its own noise.

Concentrate on the noises within the body. Don't hear them? Listen again. There… Hear it? The rush of pressure in the ears, the gurgle of digestion, the throb of the blood in your veins, the air in the lungs. Listen for these things. Focus on quietening these sounds now.

If you do this much exercise in mauna, you will already feel the benefit of inner balance. There is a tranquillity in ordering the world to be quiet, in settling down the movements of the body.

Keep at it. Prepare. Listen. Listen. Listen… Become ready...


22 comments:

  1. Oh if Bryan was writing this he would say he has not experienced Silence since he met me, and now with meowy Madi neither of us have silence.

    As for listening I can truly say I really learned to listening the last 25 years of my working life. I was fortunate to work with people from all over the world and become good friends. We even had a graduate student from Mongolia.
    This talker had to really learn to listen with her eyes and her ears.
    I really like this spring menorise!!
    Hugs Cecilia

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  2. Hi Yamini - oh yes ... not enough silence out there, and definitely in here ... I try and keep the balance ... suspect I fail ... my mind is a great wanderer - cheers Hilary

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  3. I don't think I've encountered true silence
    Debbie

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  4. I do a lot of this to help me deal with the endless pain of my spine. It's amazing how much it helps. And it's incredible how hard my mind tries to keep spinning stories!

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  5. Technology has so many wonderful benefits, but it has also made it very difficult to quiet the mind. Often the best silence I find is when I awaken in the middle of the night and the world is still:)

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    1. Hari OM
      Even I have to remember not to put the tablet down - to walk away from the keyboard! That time in the night is the optimum time for meditation and to appreicate maun - but this particular 'exercise' enables us to be still and quiet in the extravagant and excited world... Yxx

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  6. Silence that is rare these days.
    Merle......

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  7. This morning - only me and Hazel awake and still dark I sat in the recliner in the quiet. Hard to shut the mind off though
    hugs
    Hazel & Mabel

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    1. Hari OM
      As you will read on Monday, that time of the day is the best time for maunam and it leads into nididdhyaasan - meditation. If we have the desire to do it. Yxx

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  8. I watched a great youtube video of a Bhuddist priest talking about calming the monkey mind - it was really enlightening and made me think about all those millions of little distractions we have going on in our heads every day.

    Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au
    M for Make It Happen

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  9. i was about to say my husband hears complete silence when he removes his hearing aid, but not true, his ears buzz and ring and he can hear the inner parts of the body, although he can't hear his own stomach growl.... i have never had complete silence within, my brain never stops, my thinker never gives up, i do better if the outside noise is as quiet as it can get but my mind wanders in circles no matter where i am or how quiet it is. at times it keeps me from sleeping.

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    1. hari OM
      This is the most common experience, Sandra! Even I have to mentally whip myself sometimes, to get the monkey to sit down... I have severe tinnitus which means that I never have actual physical silence, but even then, am able with discipline, to reach the inner silence - but that is more attached to meditation than to mauna, which is the exercise of controlling our own noise, not chittery-chattering and all the time needing the radio or the telly. The whirling thoughts when trying to sleep can be a real bummer - and takes determination to switch off. Not an easy task, I know! Yxx

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  10. It is quiet difficult to 'quiet ' the mind. Thank you for a beautiful post. I like that design too. :) I wish you a very happy weekend.

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    1. Hari OM
      It is - that's why it requires 'practice'! Thankyou - making mandalas is akin to likhiita jaapa for me; focus and emptiness. Yxx

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  11. Listening for the Still, Small Voice within

    Beth
    https://bethlapinsatozblog.wordpress.com/2018/

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  12. This is a great exercise for practicing mauna. Thanks for sharing :)

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  13. I really need this in my day to day life! I feel like I am a cacophony of thoughts not going anywhere - if you know what I mean! My mind works the most to create images and words and poetry in the middle of the night(thats what it is here in India).

    I shall log off now and try to quiet the mind for a bit before going to sleep.

    Mitti @ NamySaysSo

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    1. Hari OM
      Yes, long past the witching hour for you... but it seems you find you muse in the wee small hours - as do I. Important to prepare the mind for sleep; Vedic or Gregorian chant, harp sounds or nature-music can all help to move the mind from its mayhem towards mauna... Yxx

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  14. I don't think I have ever achieved inner silence, but the closest thing to complete environmental silence is a sunrise in the desert on a still day. No birds, no breeze, no talking humans for miles around, nothing - just me and a magnificently coloured horizon - utter bliss!

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    1. Hari Om
      OH yes... Have been fortunate to experience lots of similar environmental situations; in Australian hinterland, Scottish highlands and coast, the Sayadhri Hills and the Himalaya... there is no doubt that one can more readily become silent oneself in such places; what I have found, though, is that the practice of mauna even in the melee of life can bring something of the 'desert sunrise' into the mundane! Yxx

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  15. I have a moment, when the cars stop zipping by, when I can feel the stillness of the forest. I almost hold my breath in awe!

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  16. Oh, those precious few moments of silence. namaste, janice xx

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