Welcome to the Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where Ashok, Conrad, gaelikaa, Grannymar and I write on the same topic. Please do visit the linked blogs to get five different flavours of the same topic. Today’s topic has been chosen by Grannymar. Grannymar is lucky! Of all of us, she would know most about this topic.

“True silence really means going deep within yourself to that place where nothing is happening, where you transcend time and space. You go into a brand new dimension of nothingness. That is where all the power is. That is your real home. That is where you really belong, in deep Silence, where there is no good or bad, no one trying to achieve anything. Just being, pure being. Silence is the ultimate Reality.”
~ Robert Adams.

Way back in 1978, I was on the fast track career-wise and burning the candle at both ends with a great deal of social obligations. My dear friend Sultan advised me to take to Transcendental Meditation (TM) made popular by the Beatles. Sultan had heard a lecture on the benefits of this technique and thought that I may yet be saved if I took to it. I did. After only about a week of regular practice ie. twice a day for twenty minutes each session, there was so much change in me that Urmeela wanted to learn and she did. Both of us regularly meditated and that was the turning point in my life, both in my career and personal life. Nothing else changed. The pressures of the career and social obligations remained, but I changed .

It simply meant that I was contacting that Silence that the opening quote talks about and the contacting was impacting my mind and body in a very positive way.

That exposure led me to study Indian spirituality for the first time and that has remained my first priority reading till today. It also led me to seek others on the same path and my spiritual progress has been enriched by those connections.

Six years later, in 1984 my mentor and boss at work, challenged me to successfully complete a ten day meditation camp to learn and practice Vipassana meditation. The requirements were to agree to ten days of total silence, no intoxicants and abstinence. Not one to let a challenge pass by, I attended a camp – and got hooked. So did Urmeela, once again seeing the beneficial effect it had on me. Both of us switched over to Vipassana. I started attending a minimum of one full 10 day camp and one or two short camps every year till, other compulsions made it impossible for me to go away for such long breaks from normal life. My practice however continues and I can no longer be without that daily dose of meditation. The exposure to such intense silence and meditation changed me completely.

The single most important aspect of meditation is the getting in touch with the Silence. All other benefits sucha s, increasing mindfulness, understanding and internalising impermanence, are byproducts, as beneficial as they may be. In that Silence lies my present and future.

Naturally, I prefer that Silence even during non meditation times and have been able to become a good listener because of that preference. This has had the unintended result of my becoming a mentor for many people who seek me out. I inevitably guide them to start any form of meditation that they will be comfortable with. I do not teach them, but guide them to teachers who can. I have seen some remarkable changes taking place in them with that, the most important being less agitated and stressed.

Silence and solitude go hand in hand. It is ecstasy when I can get it. I can be very creative and mindful in whatever I do, thanks to the regular getting in touch with my Silence in solitude.

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