The practice of silence – Mauna

The observation of silence – Mauna, is not just limited to the restriction of speech but it’s also about reducing and restricting the senses inputs and stimulations of the mind. It is calming down the thought current and free the mind from restlessness. It is not merely practicing silence of speech, but also silence of the mind.

This will help to purify the mind to a deeper level.

It is like emptying and cleaning the rubbish bin. Stop putting in more rubbish and bringing out the existing rubbish from the bin and give it a good clean up. It is stop stimulating the mind and allow it to have a moment of stillness.

It is about changing the habit of the mind that likes to react towards all the names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses every moment. It is restricting the mind to react whenever it wants to react towards whatever it perceives.

This will lead our mind to stop reacting towards what it likes and dislikes, what it agrees and disagrees with, and allow the mind to develop inner qualities, such like patience, forbearance, non-attachment, letting go, tolerance, adjustment, adaptation, accommodation, acceptance, forgiveness, self-introspection and self-control over the thoughts, actions and speech. All these inner divine qualities will lead the mind to realize God consciousness or the universal consciousness – Selflessness and compassion.

It is not just about not talking.

By controlling the speech organ not to talk or speak whenever the mind wants to express itself through speech or verbal expression, it is actually controlling the mind from its egoistic habitual reaction towards all the objects of the senses or whatever it perceives through the body and mind.

It is about being the master of the mind and be “the one” in control of the mind, instead of being the slave of the impure egoistic mind and being over-powered by the impurities of the mind. It’s about stop generating craving towards what the mind likes and agrees with, and stop generating aversion towards what the mind dislikes and disagrees with. Allowing the mind to be open towards all the perceptions of names and forms through the senses, being free from attachment or identification towards the perceiver and the perceived. Through this practice, the ego will be annihilated.

Beside stopping the mind from reacting towards the sense objects by refraining the mind to express itself through speech by observing non-talking, non-justification, non-arguing, non-interaction and non-communication with the world, and just stand as a witness or the observer witnessing or observing all the names and forms that are being perceived in the mind, we also refrain the mind from reacting or expressing through physical actions, body language and facial expression, during the practice of silence – Mauna.

It is a total restrain over the thoughts, actions and speech. The mind becomes silent.

The practice of reducing or purifying senses inputs – sights, sounds, smells, taste, sensations (touch) and thoughts, and stop generate craving and aversion towards all these names and forms, is observing Mauna. When we stop generate new reactions of craving and aversion towards all the names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses, the old accumulated tensions or karma that derived from past cravings and aversions, will appear to the surface of the mind to be purified, or to be letting go.

The practice of Mauna is a very efficient and important way for us to realize the Truth of ourselves and about suffering.

The practice includes but not limited to:-

– No verbal or written communication and interaction with other people.

– No eyes contact or body contact with other people. Not looking at other people nor take interest in other people’s affairs.

– No body language or facial expression to make any communication or interaction with other people.

– Reduce and limit the inputs (sight, sound, smell, taste, sensation and thoughts) and outputs (ideas, communications and interactions) of the mind. Such like not reading novels, magazines and newspaper, not watching movies and TV programs, not listening to music, not playing sports games, not writing, not doing intense physical activities, not sleeping on soft bed, not using perfumes or fragrances, and divert the mind to contemplate on Dharma only whenever the mind thinks of any worldly objects, and etc.

– Control and minimize the habit of self-talking in the mind (talking to ourself in the mind). The speech organ maybe not performing any talking verbally, but the mind continues to talk to itself in the mind. This is very common for many people. It shows that how restless the mind is, and it doesn’t like to be in silence for a single moment, even though from the appearance the body is silent and stilled, not performing any speech and actions.

– Controlling sexual desire. Transform or channel the sexual energy for spiritual practice and spiritual realization.

– Conserve energy by limiting worldly mental, physical and speech activities, and use the energy for spiritual practice and to perform selfless service for ourselves and for other beings.

– Reduce wants and worldly desires and sensual enjoyments.

– Restricting the usual daily habits of the body and mind. Such like dependent on “taking” certain “substances” or “doing” certain “things” to feel good…

– Restricting the usual reactions of the body and mind towards all the names and forms. Such like when we hear something that we don’t agree with, we would like to argue about it…

– By limiting and reducing verbal, physical and mental activities. This will stop any stimulations of the mind. Allowing the whirlpool of the restless mind to have the opportunity to “settle down”. When the mind is pure and calm, we will be able to “see” the Truth of everything as it is, not being contaminated by the impurities and restlessness in our mind…

– Restrict the mind from trying to express itself at anytime through verbal speech, facial expression and body language/sign. Such like learn to observe anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, dissatisfaction, arrogance, anxiety, agitation, depression, fear and worry, and let them go without react towards any of these impurities…

– Observe the thoughts (thinking) and not identify nor associate with the thoughts.

– Make the outgoing mind turns inwards concentrating and resting in the chamber of the heart.

May all spiritual aspirants be determined to observe Mauna – Silence of thoughts, actions and speech for some period of time in the path of yoga and meditation for spiritual realization to know the Truth.

Note that this practice of silence is “possible” for those who really want to know how to transcend suffering. For people who never suffer, or haven’t experience any suffering, or don’t know what is suffering, and are not interested in transcending suffering, this practice is not possible for them. It’s because this practice will generate some “discomforts” or “pain” or “suffering” in the body and the mind, due to we stop feeding the body and the mind with what it usually likes to think, do, say, see, hear, smell, taste, and touch… It is “not fun” but “miserable” for the mind that likes to chase after worldly sensual enjoyments…

We will see our mind’s true behavior when we start to restrict the mind from getting what it usually gets in everyday life… We will notice that we are not actually “the person” whom we think what we are… All the anger and frustration kick in as the body and mind is being cut off from its usual addictions, activities, lifestyle and enjoyment, and when its craving is not being gratified…

We will find out that our own mind is not actually as “obedient” as what we thought it was. And we will become humble and stop judging and criticizing other people whom we think that they have a “bad” mind that is not as “good” as ours… It’s because we will realize that our own mind is not any better than anyone else mind…

We thought that we are super nice and calm people, but not really…

We thought that we are patient and compassionate people, but not really…

We thought that we are loving and unselfish people, but not really…

When we stop giving the mind what it likes and wants…

And so, this confrontation with the “ugly dark side” of our own mind, is not a “good” thing for someone who is very proud and arrogant… But it is a very good thing for someone who is willing to give up pride and arrogance…

This is simply because we are able to see the truth of our own mind when we practice Mauna for a period of time, and turn the outgoing mind inward for self-introspection…

When come to the point if we are able to perform all our actions and speech out of selflessness and compassion, without any attachment, selfish desire and expectation, when all our thoughts, actions and speech are pure, then even though we are performing some thinking, actions and speech, but it is not contradicting with the practice of silence at all… That is what the teachings talk about inaction in action…

Om shanti.