I love Silence.
We are all so used to doing many things. For most of us, it takes some time before we can rest into doing nothing.
In a silence retreat we stop talking with each other, we stop meeting each others eyes, we stop all body contact and communication through gestures. We turn off the phones and the computers.
We are available, only to ourselves.
It can feel as a vacuum the first days. Many times restlessness comes up. The habits of doing, of talking and of taking in information – is ingrained in us.
And it can feel strange to not meet each others eyes, not smile to each other, not say hello. We are so used to give each other some kind of confirmation through these things. «I like you», «you are ok», «do you like me too?”.
To suddenly stop all that, can be almost a shock. Some times feeling so alone. Even rejected. «Why doesn´t anyone smile to me, see me?»
The silence of snowflakes falling
Dharma Mountain in January. is magical. The snow a pure white duvet, covering everything. The starry sky so vast above us. The silence is so silent, you can hear each tiny sound. The spoon in the tea cup. The gentle footsteps.
To sit in one´s own company, can be a pleasure, and it can be a challenge.
My guess is; none of us “manage” to meditate. If we try to fight the thoughts, they yell even louder.
The simple magic of vipassana is this; Just gently bring the attention to your own breath. Watch the breath coming in, going out, coming in, going out.
The breath always happens in the present moment, it doesn´t wander here and there, to the past and the future, like the thoughts do. The breath is Now. Therefore it can be used as an anchor, to bring our attention back to the moment.
The habit is that we follow the thoughts, we go with them, into dreams or worries for the future, or into memories of the past.
Everytime you become aware that you drift away with the thoughts; just gently bring your attention back to your breath. Coming in, going out.
Be patient with yourself, friendly.
A new friendship
Sooner or later the thoughts slow down. They are still there, they do what thoughts are doing. But the Silence is vaster.
Our attention has changed; from first noticing only the clouds, gradually we become aware of the vast blue sky behind the clouds. The clouds are always drifting, always changing. like thoughts, they come, and they go. The sky is always here, always still.
Embracing Everything. Just watching. Like Silence.
Then. These golden vipassana sittings. The luxury of sitting in your own company. No-one asking anything from you. No-one wanting anything from you. Just sitting, with this beautiful new friend; YOU.
Written by Savini
“In January we had the vipassana silence retreat «Inner Joy» in Dharma Mountain. I was fortunate to be part of the team who planned and facilitated it. “
Photos: Dharma Mountain retreats