What if I said that silence transforms? Would that look and sound appealing? Notice how much importance we give to external sense perceptions—what we can see, hear, smell, taste and touch? How about paying attention to what can't be seen by the naked eye but stimulates the brain, or what can't be touched yet tightens the muscles, or what can't be sniffed but burns the lungs, or what can't be heard yet rings in the ears, or what can't be tasted but produces a dread in the pit of the stomach?
It's downright scary for people to acknowledge paralyzing thoughts and feelings, which can keep them locked up in unhealthy patterns and worldly distractions. People take refuge in material pursuits, falsely believing that these will lead to Nirvana. Life becomes a contrived cat-and-mouse game as individuals mindlessly chase after the next job, the next house, or the next partner. Over time, the repetition of these choreographed behaviors only reinforces addictions, compulsions and emotional dysfunction, along with despair, discontent and emptiness, hurling peace and satisfaction into a galaxy far, far away.
So, what's the solution, you ask? Allow me to share my experience of self-discovery. A ten-day silent retreat of vipassana meditation I attended transformed not just my life perspective but also my future. Thus was born my first publication Inner Pilgrimage:Ten Days to a Mindful Me.
Silence or meditation is a tool that can help an individual transcend external chaos and confusion, surrender to their inner calling and resurrect authentic self. Ultimately, most people realize that happiness and satisfaction lie in the present moment—the here and now. This is the ultimate motivator for living a balanced life. Silence isn't just for monks and holy people but for everyone—for you and me. Silence offers a way to tame stress and anxiety—daily experiences in the digital age. Silence can help individuals connect with themselves, just as Facebook helps individuals connect to the world.
My meditation has induced a sense of awareness that is helping me weather life's challenges in a calm, positive way. It has lessened my dependence on external approval, promoting openness, curiosity, empathy, generosity and emotional health. I live mindfully and focus on enjoying the journey of life with a positive outlook. Silence enables me to operate in a realm where I'm truly excited to be myself and energized to serve the greater whole. So, why not give silence a try? It might lead you into uncharted territories, or simply boost your confidence at work. Either way, you'll find a new expression of yourself beginning to emerge. Isn't that something worth exploring?
Raji Lukkoor is a mom, writer and engineer, trying to live her best life. She is the author of Inner Pilgrimage: Ten Days to a Mindful Me. As personal guru to Lyn Fuchs, she has helped him look inward, rather than gawk at her photo, which he unspiritually had made into a snuggly pillow without her permission.