A vow of silence (mauna) has one main focus — to awaken awareness. Cultivating awareness, means being in the present moment at all times and experiencing each and every action with full consciousness.
If you are drinking a coffee, you don’t drink the coffee while reading a newspaper, 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 at hand. By living in the present, you increase your awareness. It is like switching off your auto pilot and removing yourself from routine life.
A vow of silence further enhances this awareness and gives you the shake you need, to finally break the mold. Known as a spiritual awakening or state of enlightenment.
1. You Change the Definition Of Yourself
Without others we have no definition of ourselves. We determine who we are by the perception of others. When you take a vow of silence, you can no longer prepare your response and react to the circumstance. When you can no longer think and talk your way through situations, you have no choice but to let go of your societal mask.
This mask is the “you” that you were told you were. The role that you play, in the game you were playing.
2. You Enhance Your Perception
Your senses become overflowed with energy. This energy was chewed up by thinking and speaking and so when they open up, they take on a new tremendous intensity.
Sunsets will appear more vivid, flowers become enchanting, and the whole world comes alive. The stars look brighter and your connection is deepened, as you delve into your miraculous and spontaneous sense of being.
3. 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 compartmentalized into the word. Without the words, the thought expands into the inexpressible and grows. You begin to see things you have never seen before, and experience things you have never experienced.
Why does this happen? Because you have stopped associating the world by 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.
4. You Lose All Sense of Right and Wrong
Moral discrimination is a status quo, imposed by society for means of control. But at this point, you are no longer your societal you. The mask of yourself has been cracked and therefore, you have also done away with your sense of right and wrong. This is essentially because there is no right and wrong. There are only experiences.
You become fluid and begin to flow with the vibes and energies around you.
If you’ve seen the Movie Hangover 2, then you will remember the Monk who was stolen from the monastery. He joins the bachelor party and the video reveals the monk takes part in riot on the streets of China. This is actually a true fact and is plausible to happen. Anyone undergoing a vow of silence should give themselves under the care of a Guru ; someone who can be accountable for your karma, (activity), to ensure you don’t get yourself into any trouble with society.
5. You Remove Your False Identity
When you can no longer identify yourself with words, the perception of others and the actions and reactions of those around you. You have broken the mold.
You learn to let go. You have let go. But letting go can never be forced. The more you try to let go, the more you focus on trying to let go, and therefore you enter the vicious cycle of the mind.
Letting go is a happening, it just happens. A vow of silence strips away the false identification.
By LJ Vanier