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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
The Way of Grace
Silence is the language of God, the Divine Presence speaking -- the music of the Eternal.
Silence is the seed of creation...
The purpose of words is to create silence...
True laughter and celebration are born only out of deep silence...
Inevitably one experiences profound silence in the presence of the Master...
Worries, anxieties and desires disappear...
One is left speechless...
Typically if someone is silent, we think they are shy or upset. Our silence is not like that. Ours is the silence of joy.
Silence is a time for physical, mental and spiritual rejuvenation. In silence we again center our lives and gain a fresh new perspective. When we take the time to be silent, we soon discover our true inner nature that is beyond our fluctuating mind and emotions. This nature is peace and contentment.
Silence is an integral part of Art of Living Advanced Courses -- in-residence programs offered at beautiful retreat locations around the world. Advanced Courses provide a prime opportunity to dive deeper into the practical wisdom of the Art of Living. The presence of the Master warms the heart and beckons us to a profound spiritual awakening. Each day ends with an evening of celebration that includes singing and dancing. Surprise activities also emerge, creating a delightful course flow where one never knows exactly what will happen next. One returns home renewed with the depth of joyful silence.
Prayer within breath
Love within Infinity
Smiling with all
Can you be wordless?
Can you be without words? Can words truly express how you feel or what moves you inside? Our spiritual unfoldment is beyond words. Yet we like to chatter on about it.
It is the ego that immediately wants to say something, to make it small, to say, "Me! I have had this experience. This happened to me!" The ego wants to see that its record of achievements is better than someone else's.
In spirit, ego is transcended. God is wholly present in each one of us, one hundred percent. We are full. And the Master's love and guidance are always entirely available for each and every person. It's that way for everybody.
Words reduce our experiences to a concept. They only solidify things. Can you simply enjoy the autumn leaves and let go? Can you be totally with the experience of their mystery and beauty?
Yet the mind likes to put words to it. When we speak them out, that beautiful deep feeling gets solidified into those words.
If we repeat the words over and over, that silent, deep, mysterious feeling becomes lost in the words. Then we are left only with words.
Be willing to be wordless. Then if words do come up, they become poetry. Or prayer. Or singing. These words move us deeply.
Do you think that maybe, after all these years, you've said everything you need to say, perhaps even several times over?
Can you be wordless ... for just a little while?
The word shrama means "effort." Ashrama (ashram) means "letting go of all efforts" -- a place where you come and all efforts, all fears, all the strains of your mind and body, everything drops. You get such a deep rest. You know there is only One in the whole universe who is taking care of you. Relax, rest, be peaceful. An ashram is where the storm can cool down. Then you realize that all the storm was created out of your mind, your consciousness. You find yourself.
Our ashram near Montreal is peacefully located on 232 acres of forest with lakes, ponds, and plenty of fresh air. With the unspoiled beauty of the landscape, one's senses turn inward. Everywhere there is remembrance of one's eternal connection to the Divine.
On my first visit to the India Ashram (page 46) I was endeared by the calm and serene atmosphere. I went with my head filled with worries of the future and anxieties and miseries of the past. Gurudev brought me to the present and liquidated my worries. That made me feel fresh, light, and living. I feel like a free bird, free from the chains that bound me. -- Akhila, Singapore
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