Three Days of Silence

January 2, 2018

 

 

With 2017 coming to an end, and a rare opportunity of no classes for a few days combined with being alone at home, I decided to go into silence for three days.


I could have gone camping, or on a long bike ride, hosted a massive NYE party, or just got lazy and binge watched a whole TV series 😊, but instead I chose to spend these three days dedicated to sadhana and inner exploration.


On the yogic path, there has always been an emphasis on spending time alone in silence. In many ways, silence is the best teacher. Nothing comes close in terms of letting you take a long and hard look at yourself. Without any distractions, it is a time when you can bring into your awareness the scariest of your darkest fears, the strongest of your unconscious desires, and the subtlest of your unnoticed tendencies. How comfortable you can be when faced with all the muck that floats up to the surface is a good test of your inner stability and growth.


It has been a little over four years since I’ve had a chance to withdraw completely for more than 24 hours at a stretch. Of course, it has been a very fruitful three-day inward retreat for me. Here’s how it went…


Day 0


The night before the three days was spent mostly sorting out last minute stuff. Informing friends and family that I wouldn’t be reachable. Turning off (&putting away) all electronic devices. Covering up the bookshelf and any other distracting elements.


Day 1


Morning Sadhana: Guru Pooja, Upa Yoga, Angamardana, 3x Surya Kriya, Yogasanas (~ 4 ½ hrs)


Evening Sadhana: 12x Surya Namaskar, Shakti Chalana Kriya (3x300 Kapalabhatis), Shambhavi Mahamudra Kriya (~ 3 hrs)


Other Practices: Shoonya Meditations, Samyama Processes


The first day was probably the most challenging day, with the mind refusing to quiet down and coming up with all sorts of tricks to ensure I stopped the madness. But once it settled down, there was a sweetness and comfort to the whole thing that made it very enjoyable.

 

Day 2


Morning Sadhana: Guru Pooja, 3x Surya Kriya, Yogasanas, Shakti Chalana Kriya (3x400 Kapalabhatis), Shambhavi Mahamudra Kriya (~ 5 hrs)


Evening Sadhana: Upa Yoga, Angamardana, 12x Surya Shakti (~ 2 hrs)


Other Practices: Shoonya Meditations, Samyama Processes


The second day had its moments of elation and struggle. With the mind getting a little quieter, the subtler aspects of the practices were more noticeable. Also, things like being focused on certain counts and other intricacies of the practices became a lot easier. It’s amusing to notice how easy it is to settle into the practices once distractions are taken away. Just stopping to think about what happened before or what’s happening next brings a huge freedom and incredible sharpness to ability to focus.


Day 3


Morning Sadhana: Guru Pooja, Upa Yoga, Angamardana, 3x Surya Kriya, Yogasanas, Shakti Chalana Kriya (3x500 Kapalabhatis), Shambhavi Mahamudra Kriya (~ 6 ½ hrs)


Evening Sadhana: 12x Surya Shakti (~45 min) 


Other Practices: Shoonya Meditations, Samyama Processes


The third day was probably the most meaningful day in terms of inner experience. Of course, as the mind starts to settle, there is always this thought in the corner that things are going to get back to normal very soon. But I was able to handle it without any frustration. I even danced a little to the loud and intrusive music from the pub next door (which I would otherwise get rather upset about normally).

 


And now as I emerge from silence, writing this post, I would like to say that this is not an achievement or something to brag about but is written to inspire you to consider taking this step for yourself someday. Of course, you would need the necessary support in terms of Sadhana to equip yourself with the tools necessary to manage your time usefully and not waste the effort as purposeless idling away.


And before you ask, no, I’m not enlightened yet, sorry to disappoint you... 😊 If anything, I’m a little bit clearer about the workings of my mind, body, energies and a little more aware about the things I need to do and avoid doing, to support my growth. 


Here’s looking forward to an exciting 2018! I’m sure this brief but powerful exercise brings forth a better version of myself for my students and the world.


 

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