Monday, June 26, 2006

Silence is golden

This afternoon, I looked out of the window from the kitchen, and saw two snails on the mango tree trunk.
In the evening, when I looked out again, they are still there. At the same position. May be they have moved. But minimally.
This scene reminded me of the turtle I saw in a reptile garden few years back. It was just behind the glass of the aquarium, laid on the rock, and was stationary for a few minutes. I know. Because I was there watching it for that few minutes.
I was wondering, what was the turtle thinking. How could it possibly remain stationary for minutes, and may be hours? What crosses its mind? What was it thinking? Feeling how water current passes by its centuries-old body? Does it spend most of its time like that? Wouldn't it be bored?
Then suddenly I thought. Why must we be thinking at every moment? Why must our mind be constantly so active? Our body, after a period of energy investment, needs to rest too. So doesn't our mind need rest too? To be void of all mental activity, and simply let it enjoy some moments of silence. Our body may be resting during sleep, but many a times our mind doesn't. We contemplate upon issues before we sleep, we dream when we sleep, we wake up worrying or planning things to do that day. Why would we be bored if we are not doing any actions? Because it menas no stimulus for the mind to think actively. We are bored, because we don't know how to appreaciate silence of the mind, which is a wonderful experience, as we need not be stressed to perform thinking. As we are totally in rest. As we can actually feel that the energy in our body renewing itself.
Resting the mind means silencing the mind so that it doesn't need to work. Meditation is a way of resting the mind. But those people who practise it would understand how hard it is to silence our mind, as it's so used to being active and thinking, so much so that silencing it seems almost impossible.
When we try to rest our mind and stop any thoughts from forming and
crossing the mind, we often fail. Thoughts still rise up unawared and we are always led on by the thoughts, indulge in it, and our mind becomes active once more. When we finally detach ourselves from the thoughts, and try to rest our mind again, the same situation will repeat not long after.
And then we would realise, silence is golden. Not only because it is beneficial to us, but because it is almost un-attainable by us.


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