The power of silence

Last week I had a strong inner impulse to go silent, to drop everything and anything outward and go inward. Let me tell you this self-initiation wasn’t due to anything spiritual and saint-like, at all. But from the shear pressure of frustration yet again! The frustration was due to my lack of ability -or ass for that matter- to catch up with my plans and to do list. The funny thing is I left my job couple of month ago and I have no commitment to anyone but myself. I make my own plans and there is no deadlines to meet and no one to answer to -except my own critical and ruthless mind- and yet I am frustrated. You know there is so many things to do: following the three courses I have registered and paid for, the books I have already bought and not read yet, plus others impatiently waiting on my wish list. Of course I don’t have to just do a quick read or listen to all these materials but I have to actually learn, take notes, write my own hunches and taken lessons, and most importantly PRACTICE them. Add the house works, managing B&B guests, the two pets, making meals, and catching up with the world on social media on top. It’s obvious I cannot follow my ambitious plans even though they always seem logical and manageable on paper…

So here I am on last Tuesday:

I feel like a useless piece of crap. I am a lazy asshole who just waste resources and footprint on Earth. Even it dawned on me I maybe fundamentally flawed and there is no hope for me. No matter how hard I try, it’s like I am banging my head against a brick wall. Usually in these heavy times I seek asylum to the bathroom. Under the shower all my mind-made self-victimization hypothesis including being fundamentally flawed got rejected off the bat because I know a little better than that! There is no point or value or a way out in self-hatred and victimization. So What should I do? what should I do? what should I do? my mind is screaming, my eyes are crying, my body is so enervate that I drop myself on the floor. Under the running water I search the whole database of my mind for a practical, workable solution and I see no teaching, no mentor, no book, no time management tool, no nothing can be the answer to my problem. Because let’s be honest, I have lived for 34 years and have tried pretty much hard to solve the dilemma of my own existence and managing it and nothing has ever worked long-term! There is no magic bullet unfortunately and I have to do the hard work of solving this dilemma myself.  The only thing I came up with from the squeeze of all the teachings and my own inner senses is that the one and only thing that can possibly take me out of my mess is my own SENSE OF INTEGRITY. Right there I checked in and I felt like a canary in an iron cage, crying to liberate itself and my integrity said: can you please shut everything up for a week? I mean everything: your mouth, your interactions with people, your cellphone, your computer, your courses, and everything your mind says you have to do. The world is not going to stop if you drop into wordlessness for a week. The sky is not coming to Earth if you choose to tune in and listen to your fucking self for a week. And then a big YES came out naturally without any mental battle as if all my body wants to do it.  So I intended to go fully silent for a week and just listen to the all of me: my thoughts, my body and physical sensations, my sense of integrity and everything in between.

So here I am today, at the end of this self-initiated silence retreat and I would like to share my realizations with you. I believe these lessons are universal and even though we all have our own sort of self-conflicts or rough patches in our lives, the overall suffering theme is quiet similar and the rules to breakthrough are the same, although dramas varies widely from person to person.

Firstly, let me confess that trying to be with myself for a whole week wasn’t easy. I think for most of us it’s the same. It’s painful to bear with ourselves without any so-called interesting activity or doing agenda or any external engagement. It means one has to put up with his/her own mind and it is painful to survive the battle-field of our minds. But it absolutely worth doing.

Lesson#1: You are absolutely not required to do ANYTHING! Anything at all! EMPTYING YOUR MIND is all you have to do! DROP INTO NOT-DOING! The realization was very clear and conclusive.  Some of my precious mentors said and pointed me toward this very way of living but during this silence I was able to crack the code a little better and my integrity fine-tuned it hassle-free and delivered this personal massage to me:  You are not required to read any books, listen to any audios or extra materials or do any extra stuff, except what is absolutely necessary. Deal with things as they arise, no plan, no nothing, no mental story… Your Only job is to drop into your sense of integrity and let that guide you like a compass. If integrity says let’s go running, let’s do yoga, let’s dance, let’s eat, let’s do whatever, do that. Just do that. Let integrity be your guide for what to do, what to eat, what to say, where to go, etc. Just tune in and unburden and don’t fall into the old trap of “oh I fall short again, everyone else is doing great things and I am at home doing fucking nothing (?!), I am a lazy fucked up shit and blah blah blah” You know better now. You know these are useless crap of ego and you know no one can run your life for you, not even God himself!  and there is no skipping the middle mess so surrender, breath, allow, receive… and don’t forget at the end of the day and the whole point of all doings is to live more peacefully and blissfully so let the measure of your peace and bliss be your guide.

Lesson#2: Silence is such an overlooked treasure. It has an infinite depth to it and it’s worth exploring  and spending more time in. Being silent changed my world/life view from subjective to objective and opened a portal for me. In the objective view we are detached from circumstances and it’s much easier to let go of our grip onto things and circumstances. For me living as an indifferent observer for a week no matter what was happening in and around my life, made me feel like I am invisible almost like a wave and in my detachment there was an unbelievably huge amount of peace! So why in my everyday life I want to control things? Isn’t it madness and self-initiated suffering?

Lesson#3: The ability to talk and communicate is a great gift. I realized I don’t use this gift well. Maybe most of us don’t use it well. I realized I talk a lot of times when not necessary and out of ego -controlling and forcing my personal opinions or judging. Now I am continuing to bring this silence as much as I can into my everyday life and practice not to talk unless it’s aligned with my integrity and after expressing myself let go and let things be as they are and remembering myself there is no judgement, no competition, no comparison!

Lesson#4: The difference between having a voice and not having a voice in the world is not really -and paradoxically- in the “voice” itself! It is in one’s wisdom and ACTION. In the way we do anything and everything.


Ariana Braving


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