I speak a lot - most of the times. Generally for a person, who speaks so much, it is difficult to be silent more so if someone else asks to.
I remember around 3 years back while travelling in a car; we got a companion of ours in a bet that if she keeps mum for the next 30 minutes, we shall offer her an ice-cream. Well she tried her best and then gave up.
So I was in for a similar experience, I thought.
I was in Art of Living Ashram near Bangalore, the last week. As part of the course, we were asked to go on 'Maun Vrat' (Pious silence) at the end of the first day, which was to continue for the next two and a half days.
It was tough to imagine how I can go on silence for so long. But then the commitment was made - willy-nilly.
I had to return to home at the end of the day and hence I postponed the silence by 5-6 ours, out of which 4 hours will be consumed by sleep.
Next day, I was late in getting up and I said "Öh God, I am late” closely followed by “Öh! I was on silence!" The damage was done :)
The day went off quite well. Since most of the time was spent in the classroom (or you may call it Sadhna Room) , so it was not tough. Even the surrounding was such that silence came natural. Everyone was maintaining silence - almost all the time. When the teacher used to say "Jai Gurudev", he used to get response from some corner of the room and all the participants used to turn to the person who broke the silence, resulting in a suppressed laughter. This continued for the next three days - the Silence - followed by breach of it - followed by laughter.
In the night I got back home and I could hear my nephew and niece getting excited to welcome me in. I heard across the closed door, my mom instructing the kids "Aaj Mama nahin bolega"(Today the uncle will not speak) but for the kids, unknown to the silence, it was only when someone is angry, he/she would not speak to that person. My niece spoke out: "Mama mujhse to pakka baat karenge"(Uncle will surely talk to me) - so sure she was that the uncle cannot be angry on her.
Next day went uneventful and I was able to do some shopping too in silence. The set-up of ashram helped in it as person being silent is usual for them. But the problem came when I had to order for juice. Getting coupon was easy and the lady there wrote for me whatever I wanted. But the person taking order was surrounded by so many people (no all of them were silent). In that cacophony, he could not hear to the person who is not speaking. After a lot of struggle, he could finally take coupon from my hands and habitually tore it off, looking at me with expectation to tell him what I want. The coupon which had my order written on it was lying down in the waste basket and my lips were sealed - what an agony! Finally I directed towards the board and he could read what I wanted.
Countdown began and the moment to break the silence approached. Initially I had thought that when the period of silence would come to an end, I shall make noise. But as the time came nearer, the mind was not ready to let go the silence and at the destined moment, it was difficult to speak out anything. With an "Äum", I drifted back to silence once again and kind of started nurturing the moment which is to end anytime soon.
The follow-up of breaking the silence was 'Darshan' of Guruji (Sri Sri Ravishankar), which came out to be a welcome break from silence as I could speak a couple of words to him.
No, I am back to my speaking self once again and everyone around me is stating that I seem to be making good of the time I had to spend in silence.
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Good post. I'm facing a few of these issues as well..