This is what can happen when you take a vow of silence for a day or a week
A vow of Silence (mauna or maon) has one main focus – to awaken awareness of essential Beingness. Awareness comes from being in the present moment at all times and experiencing each and every action and object with the fullest immediate consciousness.
If you are drinking a coffee, you don’t drink the coffee while reading a newspaper and all the while your mind is thinking about what tasks the day holds for you. You drink the coffee and are conscious that you are picking up the cup. You lift it to your lips, you feel the sensation of taste, you put the cup back down and your mind is fully in the present moment and the task in hand. By living in the present, you increase your immediate awareness. This removing of yourself from your routine life is like switching off your auto-pilot. In essence a vow of silence enhances awareness and helps break the mould of being half asleep to life.
- You Change the Definition Of Yourself. Without others we have less self-definition. Many of us determine who we are through the perception of others. When you take a vow of silence, you no longer need to prepare your response to others or react to circumstances in the normal way. When you no longer think and talk your way through situations, you have no choice but to let go of your social mask. This mask is the ‘you’ that you were told you were: the role that you play in the game of life that you have been playing all along.
- You Enhance Your Perception Your senses become enlivened with energy. This energy is used up by thinking and speaking and so when your senses open up through silence they take on a new intensity. Sunsets will appear more vivid, darkness becomes deeper, flowers become enchanting, and the whole world comes more alive to you. The stars look brighter and your connectedness deepens, as you delve into your miraculous and spontaneous sense of being.
- You Stop Thinking in Words Language is meant to be the vocal expression of thought, but we know that not all thoughts and feelings can be expressed by words. Each time we apply a word to a thought, the thought becomes compartmentalised into that word. Without the words, thoughts can expand into the ineffable (that which is too great, powerful and beautiful to be described or expressed). You begin to see things you have never seen before, and experience things you have never knowingly experienced. Why does this happen? Because you have stopped associating the world by its coding. There is no longer a classification to your thoughts, there is simply thought. There is no longer a thinker of the thoughts, there is just thought.
- Your Sense of Right and Wrong May be Affected Moral discrimination is part of the status quo, rules or codes usually imposed by society to maintain its cohesion and control. But at this point, you are no longer so much you’re societal you. The mask of yourself has been cracked and therefore your sense of right and wrong may be affected. This is because there is no essential universal right and wrong. There are only experiences. And you can flow more with your experiences and energies around you. You may find a more authentic morality emerges from within you.
- You Remove Your False Identity When you can no longer identify yourself through using words, through speaking, and hearing the perceptions of others, then you have broken the mould. You learn to let go. Letting go can never be forced: the more you focus on trying to let go, the more the mind endlessly cycles. Letting go is a happening, it just happens. A vow of silence strips away all false identification and a truer awareness of your essential beingness emerges.
by LJ Vanier and edited.