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Season 2 - Episode 5

Sacred Silence Meditation

20 min - Practice


When we breathe with more awareness than usual, we can take in subtler energies than we normally do. Ravi guides us through a meditation to become more aware of the magnificence of breath so that we can gradually begin to quiet the mind.
What You'll Need: No props needed

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Very strong emphasis in the yoga literature on the silence of the mind. It is useful for us to understand that silence does not mean absence of sound. The silence that we search for belongs to a different dimension. So we take a few moments. First of all, intentionally try to hear sounds outside this room as far away as you can hear. Even the word sound may not be appropriate to allow the vibrations to become aware of them and gradually to move to this room and the vibrations, the sound in this room.

And shift our attention now to our own organism, recognizing that what is happening is I am shifting the focus of my attention, the external sounds still continue, they will always continue as long as the universe exists. Now I try to hear my own heartbeat. It is helpful for a few moments to put my right hand on the heart to become really aware that as long as I am alive this heart will keep beating. I can let go of the hand and then to use the fingers of one hand to place them on the wrist of the other hand to take the pulse, to become aware that this movement of blood in the body is an indication that I am alive. And all these sounds, there are many, many others, movements, sounds, vibrations, we are not aware of most of them, but our breathing, mental movements, these will continue. What we are seeking for is silence of the living, not of the dead.

So not to be against any of these sounds or movements or vibrations inside us or outside us. More and more interesting, not what I am against, but what are we for? What am I for? I wish now to relate with subtler and subtler levels of energy pervading the whole cosmos. So to bring our attention to our breathing, especially the movement of the abdomen, up and down, needs to correspond to breathing in and breathing out. Otherwise our breathing becomes very shallow.

The English word breath no longer carries the idea of the whole spectrum of subtle energies which is still conveyed by the Chinese word chi or the Sanskrit word prana. So let me remind us of the remark in the Bible in the book of Genesis. God created human beings from the earth and then breathed his own breath into them to make them alive. It's a useful reminder from a great scripture that the very fact that I am alive contains in it the breath from God or any other expression you wish to use for the highest level of consciousness, such as Brahma or Holy Spirit or Allah. Therefore, prana or chi or breath is the connecting link between all levels of reality, all levels of consciousness from the highest level to the lowest creature participating in breathing.

Therefore, to pay some attention to breathing without trying to control it one way or the other, that is the greatest pranayama is the awareness of breathing. And we have a very important principle of transformation. Whatever I pay attention to changes in its quality and in its relationship with me. So if I pay attention to my breathing, the quality of my breathing will change. Consequently, the effect my breathing has on my organism will change.

A corollary of this principle in practice is if I breathe in with more awareness than usual from the same air as I breathe or everybody else is breathing, I can take in subtler substances or energies. As I said earlier, the breath is the connecting link with the highest levels. So we take a few moments to wish to breathe with more awareness so that I can take a slightly subtler energies which connect me with higher levels than what I usually take in. And here we need to be very careful that we don't allow the expression of something to replace the experience of that something. So what is the difference in my breathing in with more awareness and just breathing ordinarily? Not the words, but what is the difference in the quality of awareness as experienced?

Important to understand that the mind does not experience. It can make comments on what one experiences, can even suggest other things to try to experience. So it is not irrelevant, but the mind does not experience. Experience is always by senses and feelings. So in order to breathe with more awareness, I try to follow the trajectory of the in-breath. After the air enters the nostrils, where does it go?

And how do I know where it goes? Not by thinking about this, but actually following it in sensation. Is there a change of humidity along the trajectory, change of temperature? Awareness is the heart of the matter and it is not simply thinking about something, actually experiencing it. So I am asking myself, where does the in-breath go from the nostril? Only by external knowledge we can say that unless every part of my organism is nourished by some oxygen, it will atrophy.

But do I actually experience this or sense this? To further assist breathing with more awareness so that I can take subtler energies than I usually do, we add also following the trajectory of the out-breath. Again by external knowledge we know that the chemical composition of the out-breath and in-breath are different. They have different functions in the organism. Do they have the same trajectory or different? Not concluding, but questioning and wondering and experiencing.

Thank you. Thank you. Not simply to accept what I say, but to question it and to see if this is true for you, that there is in fact a circular motion that takes place of the breath, connecting various aspects of our being, thinking, moving, emotions. They are all connected by the movement of in-breath and out-breath, nourishing each one of these. Also the sexual centers, digestion.

And if I actually continue to pay attention to this, gradually the mind quietens. But if I try to force the quietening of the mind, it reacts. But I am utilizing the energy of the mind for something more important to me, more serious to me. So the general principle, not what I am against, but what I am for, assists our mind to be quieter, body to be energized, and subtler substances from the same air as everybody is breathing to be incorporated in the body. Thank you.


Sharon H
1 person likes this.
Many Thanks!
very beautiful to have this peaceful guided meditation. thank you.
Julie M
Namaste ji,
Thank you so much for gifting us with your mind wanders during the practice but it still has a very good effect on me. I will keep practicing..
Julie :)
Kate M
Thank you for this meditation. There is so much here. So much to
in-corporate, em-body. This is the door to transformation, on every level...
Susan R
Not what I am against, but what I am for ...
Pallavi J

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