From December 27th to January 7th one hundred of us were observing noble silence (complete silence with no physical contact with others, not even eye contact!; and of course no contact to the outside world) while practising meditation for the majority of each day while having the daily food consumption (vegetarian) finished by noon, with the exception of a couple of fruit and a cup of lemon tea at 5pm.
This may not sound like most people’s idea of a fun time, nor the best way to spend the holidays, nor even the most ideal way to ring in the new year – well, for this moose, it was perfect.
Silence is so underrated these days, what with all the technology bombarding our senses each and every day, affecting our minds and influencing our choices. Silence is the fertile soil which cultivates the magic bean of meditation by which we can reach new heights, otherwise only heard of in fairy tales and fantasy stories.
Vipassana, otherwise known as insight meditation, is a process by which one becomes one with oneself through awareness and equanimity (a constant state of balance). First we become aware of the breath. This leads to an awareness of the senses, which in turn leads to an understanding that the only constant is change. And by “understanding”, I don’t just mean we understand what the words mean, but that we know by direct experience that no thing is permanent. Thoughts, sensations, feelings, emotions, bodies, buildings, civilisations and races all have their time to exist, and in the fleeting moments of time disappear like clouds in the wind.
If nothing is permanent and all is temporary, then why would we possibly put so much energy into clinging to sadness, suffering, hatred and anger when there is so much more we could do with that same energy in a more positive and productive fashion.
To quote the great mystics of countless generations “there is nothing which is not that can ever be, and nothing which is that has never been”. In other words, all things exist in some form or another. What this means to us spiritually is that both positive and negative elements exist simultaneously side by side in the more subtle realms of existence. It is our choice which ones we give energy and importance to.
By consciously choosing to live a more peaceful and positive life, we immediately begin to see the benefits not only within ourselves, but also in the lives of others around us. The cycle is a self-perpetuating one, so rather than cycle blindly and backwards, choose to know where you are in the present moment and see where it is you are going, then with full awareness and perfect balance, move gracefully through the coinciding incidents of life which create our learning experiences and thus strengthen our faith, not only in ourselves, but in the Universe, of which we are all a part, and which is a part of each and every one of us also.
May all beings know and experience peace of mind, unconditional love, kindness, compassion, humbleness, gratitude, charity and generosity in all aspects of life for the rest of their waking lives. Namaste
[If you enjoyed this post please consider sharing it with others, and thank you for visiting Sleepy Moose!]