When you complain constantly, you multiply your misery. When you listen peacefully, you multiply the magic in your life. Be vigilant about what’s happening in your consciousness. When you are conscious of the insistent clamour of your complaints, life becomes limited, unhealthy and unbearable. But, when you become conscious of the infinite peace of your inner silence and space, life becomes beautifully balanced, healthy and joyously divine.
It is said that the great thinker, Lao Tzu, went for long morning walks with his students. Knowing Lao Tzu’s rules, the students remained silent. One day, a novice came along. The sunrise was so spectacular that the novice could not refrain from exclaiming, ‘Magnificent!’ Later, Lao Tzu admonished the novice, “You talk too much.” Such importance did the master ascribe to silence!
Sure, there is a time to talk — to protest against cruelty or corruption, to comfort somebody, or to clear a misunderstanding. Even here, a few moments of quiet contemplation make your communication more effective. Words that come out of the peace of silence carry a special vibration that strikes a chord deep within.
The silence we’re talking about is not a glowering, long-suffering, sulky, mutinous or martyred one. Such silence is caused by negative vibrations that harm. We are talking about a loving, intelligent silence — a silence luminous with attentive kindness that knows yet does not judge. Such a silence is a result of positive vibrations that promote creativity, healing and harmony.
If we understood that the untrained, chattering ego in us loves to divide, we would think several times before we speak. Many couples live divided lives because they are slaves to the ego. The winner is not the partner who gets his/her way in an argument. In such cases, the winner is the ego which thrives on disharmony and conflicts that simmer for years. The ego fears silence. It believes if there is no division or opposing opinion, it has no role to play and will become extinct. The ego couldn’t be more wrong.
Consider this. When you listen to beautiful music, you become peaceful and utterly relaxed. You stop thinking and let the music fill your being. The ego is not extinct; it is silent. And because it is silent, you feel a quiet joy.
Before saying anything, ask yourself if your words will improve a situation or a relationship. Negative words cut and wound your body, mind and spirit before they cut and wound the person they are directed at.
There are three things you can do to keep the ego in check:
*When angry words rise to your mind or lips, blow out your breath several times. Focus on your stomach with every breath. Is it moving outward strongly enough? Blow until the intensity lessens, dissolves and calmness reigns.
*Choose purity every time. There may be a gloating satisfaction in hurting another person. But there is a deep sweetness, a sense of purity and a greater satisfaction in overcoming the desire to hurt.
*Practise ‘listening meditation’. Whenever his young monks misbehaved, the master would say, “Can you hear the mountain stream?” Similarly, when the mind misbehaves, begin listening intently. All differences will disappear and your consciousness will awaken to a harmonious, healing and a wholesome freshness.