By Anjali Mani / 05.05.2015
For the last month and a half, I’ve been spending a lot of my time in silence. After incurring a broken ankle, I’ve been forced by the universe to literally slow down and rest. I’m at home with my iPad, my computer, some music, and at times, the phone. And in between the technology that surrounds me, there’s ample time for silence.
Silence is something prior to my injury that I longed for—to be able to just sit, do nothing, and bask in the sunlight, hear the birds sing, and get to read, pray, meditate and just be in the silence of my self. The universe has a strange way of gifting you with things that you long for. In silence I hear the chitter chatter of my mind. The mind has a list of do’s, it has a list of wants, it has list of no’s.
The mind takes me to faraway lands even when I attempt to sit in silence. Sometimes it’s a place that I’ve created on my own but never been, at other times, it’s back in time recreating scenes that I think could have been played out better. The mind ceases not in exploring. I watch the mind go in “this and that” direction and with a deep breath I slowly bring it back to centre. For a split second, I forget that I am in silence because of the commotion of the mind. I forget about the centre of where I am and the centre of where I want to be. To cease this chatter, to stop the noise, so I can fully hear myself. Not the self that’s running after things but the Self that wants to be still.
In silence I find that as I wake up to the morning, I’m surrounded by a glorious sunrise that greets me through my window and a chorus of birds that greets me good morning. On a normal day when I would be getting ready to go to work, rarely would I pay attention to the sounds of the birds in the morning.
Silence has taught me to appreciate the natural world. In silence I watch the change of seasons which I would otherwise not notice. The tree branches which have been bare due to winter are slowly forming its buds, and every day when I look out the window I see the formation of a leaf. I see the trees change in form and wake up suddenly to green all around me.
In silence I have learned to silence the part of my self that chooses to look at my current situation as a curse and learn to accept. I have learned to become my own friend and be patient with the things that I once took for granted. In silence I have learned to face fear in the face when fear roared back at me saying I couldn’t do something. Instead of roaring back, I learned to trust that silent part of myself and face the fear knowing that too was a part of my mind that wanted to take over.
Getting to go outside is a treasure nowadays due to mobility and when the sun is shining and the day is glorious, I find myself aching to be outdoors underneath the warmth of the sun and to be surrounded by the trees. In silence I have gained strength from nature. I watch the roots of the trees and just as the roots of the trees remain unaffected by the wind, I too in silence have learned to stay still and ground myself when I see the mind running.
In silence I hear my soul speak to me or rather I actually begin listening to my self. For a split second, there is stillness, for a split second, I don’t hear anything. For a split second the only thing I hear is the sound of my breath. The sound of my breath that’s becoming softer and softer. In that moment, I hear nothing, and I realize how tiny I am in the vastness of this universe. In silence I begin to feel one with my surroundings and for a good five minutes I feel peace. Imagine if that peace can last longer. If only I can learn to stay and be in silence.