Practice of intermittent silence is the bridge to understanding the mysteries of inner universe. You journey to the flame (of consciousness – the source), find the force, feel the force, use the force and then bring the force with you to your normal life. The force thereafter stays with you. This energy or the force helps power the inner conversation. Power of intermittent silence is not just entering the mysterious inner universe; it is also about exploring and utilizing the power of being there.
Intermittent silence is not a practice of being empty and it is not a practice of nothingness. In fact, there is no empty space outside and there is no empty space inside. If you and I are sitting on a bench, the space between you and I is filled with electro-magnetic waves and fluctuations, there is presence of tremendous energy in the space that appears empty to our naked eyes. There is presence of radio waves, microwaves, fragrance, sound waves, dust, photons and many other such entities. Similarly, the inner space is also filled with mysteries and the most powerful entity, the energy of consciousness, your individual consciousness – the flame.
Silence is a component to all meditations and watching thoughts is the 4th component of the practice of intermittent silence as we learnt before. This is just the beginning of the inner conversation. You start with watching the thoughts and end up with knowing the power of inner conversations. Silent listening through your ears, silent observing through the power of closed eyes and presence of mindfulness helps you know what is happening in the inner universe.
Let’s take this journey through with Prof. Tom Thinker. Tom Thinker is a very bright professor of philosophy at an Ivy league school. He really wants to delve into the world of meditation. He has studied all he could about and then attended several talks and retreats given by Swamis around the world. He had heard most of them speak that watching thoughts during meditation is like watching traffic on the road.
Prof Thinker wanted to test the concept out. He went to Glasgow Montana to be in an isolated town of America thinking that it will be a good place to observe traffic on the road in a remote quiet town; it should be a silent place where the experience could be similar to meditation. He drove further in the boonies and then stood on a road waiting to experience the traffic on the road. Very few vehicles went by, one at a time and he had chance to observe them quite well. Often the driver of the vehicle slowed down, looked at this man standing in the middle of the road and moved on. Some stopped by and asked him if he was alright. He got bored after some time and scratched his head wondering what went wrong. A light bulb went in his head and he realized that maybe, he should try watching traffic on a busy highway.
He heads back to Boston and braves himself standing on the Mass Pike on a busy Saturday. This was not a pleasant experience for him; he spent most of his time dodging the fast-going cars in the three-lane highway. In between he had to put up with the honking of the passing by vehicles. Before he could experience anything more or get injured, he was picked up by the police and had to promise that he would never repeat this experiment again.
We all know that Prof Thinker would not do such a thing and if he did anything like this, it would be because he wanted to make a point. He had weird ways of making his points. He knew very well how we understand about watching thoughts during practice of intermittent silence or meditation. We stand in the middle of the thoughts and try to stop the flow of powerful thoughts. This is no different than Prof Tom Thinker trying to stop an 18-wheeler on the Mass pike traffic. Both are equally foolish. The wisdom is in standing on the side of the road and watching the traffic go by. The same applies to thoughts too. Traffic of cars is not going to go away, and traffic of thoughts also is not going to disappear. There is no point interfering or doing anything with the flow of traffic, let it just flow. Similarly, let the traffic of thoughts just flow, no point doing any interference.
The inner conversation
You have practiced intermittent silence for approximately three months or more. Now, you are ready to move to the next step in exploring the mysteries of the inner universe the center or the source of all ideas, conversation and creativity.
Flow from the source to you:
You can now observe and monitor the beginning of the traffic. You can visualize where it all starts. The ideas start flowing and you become a receiver. Many writers and inventors will admit that the amazing ideas came from their inside. You just become a silent observer, a silent watcher and let the solutions come to you. You just sleep over a complex problem and let the solutions appear in front of you. Remember when Prof Thinker was in remote Montana, one vehicle came at a time. He could have a better view of entire surrounding there when compared to the busy Mass Pike traffic.
Flow from you to the source
The other way to use this space is to bring your thoughts and practice in various ways of what we commonly call brain storming; this brain storming happens in your own inner universe. You have created a space in your inner universe that you can use to observe or create your inner conversation. You have the power of choosing which thoughts and what directions you want to go. The caution here is that your thoughts and wishes coming from so close to your inner source can materialize and hence it is better not to focus on negative thoughts.