Taking a vow of silence, otherwise known as ‘Mauna’ in Hindu philosophy, it is a practice that is designed to help you achieve new levels of awareness.
It’s incredibly easy to get caught up in both the past and present of one’s life, but how often are you truly living in the present? Sure, your physical self exists with each passing second, but the same cannot be said of your conscious self. Regrets and mistakes from the past crop up as reminders of the choices you’ve made and possibilities for your future can leave you feeling anxious and unsure about where you’re currently at.
Taking a vow of silence, otherwise known as ‘Mauna’ in Hindu philosophy, is a practice that is designed to help you achieve new levels of awareness. It helps one avoid being consumed by the monsters of your past and the future ones you may be worried about. Instead of simply ‘going through the motions,’ it allows you to get in the driver's seat of your life.
Here are four great things that happen when you vow to be silent and mindful for at least one week:
Because you are no longer devoting so much energy to unnecessary thoughts and words, your senses become heightened, allowing you to feel more than you ever have before. The way you perceive reality literally changes. Colors are richer, sounds are more full-bodied; your connection with the world grows.
A vow of silence does not let you prepare or react for anything. Circumstances and situations that arise in your life can no longer be worked through using words and justifications. You can only exist as you are in the moment. Your identity and obligations to society, the ones that everyone expects from you and has helped you create, vanish.
Something that many people struggle to let go of is the idea of ‘good and bad.’ Largely because good and bad are ingrained in us as children. Do something good, receive praise. Do something bad, receive punishment. When in reality, good and bad are subjective terms. No experience or situation is objectively good or bad, we attach that meaning ourselves.
When you let go of your societal identity and simply exist, your energy starts to mesh with the energies and vibrations surrounding you. Instead of being rigid and static, you achieve fluidity--moving in life’s current, going wherever it goes without judgment.
A language is a tool humans use to communicate with one another. Each word created has been created to convey a certain idea, feeling, emotion, etc. Words keep you trapped within their limitations. Have you ever felt something that you just couldn’t describe to someone else? Each word you came up with to try to describe it seemed to fall short because the word didn’t fully capture your experience?
A vow of silence keeps your mind from using words to think. And when you no longer have words to think with, your mind begins to fill with the experiences themselves. Your thoughts grow into bigger and bigger thoughts--unexplainable thoughts and feelings that make you see the world differently.
The hardest part of all of this is the part where you have to let go of everything. A vow of silence helps you get there, but ultimately you must be capable of understanding that in order to fully achieve these effects, you have to completely and honestly let go of your words and traditional way of thinking. The downside? By striving to let go, you allow the mind to take control. Letting go cannot be forced, it is something that you must let happen naturally on its own.