How to Resolve The Seeker's Dilemma Part 3?

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"Let my words, like vegetables, be tender and sweet, for tomorrow I may have to eat them." ... a quote  by anonymous.

I discovered this quote ... thanks to my dear niece ... what a great reminder ... anyhow ... let's continue our journey of  ... explorations in Consciousness, ... Silence, ... Self Realization, ... Self Discovery, ... The Mystery.

This episode (#8) is part 3 of "How to resolve the Seeker's Dilemma?".

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In one of his comments, Chappu Dada raised some legitimate issues that are somewhat distracting when one is exploring silence. His concerns were: environment, physical state, mental state, mental worries or mental chatter.

I acknowledge the truth and legitimacy of these concerns primarily because these issues are typically encountered by many people when they start exploring silence particularly in the early stages ... and of course there are always exceptions i.e., some people do not have such issues.

Regardless, it is important to mention that ... silence can be explored anywhere and under any circumstances ...  can be done at home every day while still involved in one's day to day life or at some place away from home for some fixed duration.

Any such concerns, challenges, or distractions are typically overcome with perseverance and deeper exploration allowing one to come to one's own conclusion that ... silence can be explored anywhere and under any circumstances ...! The key is that Silence is not a project that has to be structured or something that can only be undertaken "out there" away from here!

That said, let's take each of Chappu Dada's concerns and see what's possible:

As to environment: If one is exploring at home, the external environment may contain sounds and other distractions. These can be minimized if not eliminated by shifting to either very early mornings or very late at night when the usual daily hubub is not present or is settled ... plus the energy at such times ... is generally quite conducive. Another, possibly better, alternative would be some quiet, remote place away from home where external issues are largely eliminated e.g., some retreat center or some cabins or some place in the woods - whatever one can manage within one's lifestyle. Its also worth noting that, stepping away from one's familiar surroundings, can certainly bring some benefits ... i.e., somewhat easier to not fall into the usual patterns ... however again even one's patterns can be set aside right at home! And obviously any place will have some environmental factors but they all can be managed through pertinent shifts and changes.

As to physical state: If one has some temporary physical condition that is challenging then maybe it is advisable to wait until such condition passes. ... though it can be extremely useful to persevere even with the physical issue because the gem is ever present ... but if the condition is too distracting then simply defer and come back. For terminal conditions I can't really say much from personal experience but my view is that such individuals may already have a deep acceptance of their condition. ... so it is not a distraction ... thus allowing them to explore.

As to mental issues ... we all know how challenging it is to reduce the mental chatter and that's one of the stated objectives or by product of certain meditations ... but the key point and benefit of silence is to reduce or eliminate such chatter ... however it does require perseverance  ... of course initially such chatter could be deafening but it does subside with time ....  each person's navigation is going to be unique ... there's no magic formula ... but with time and sincere exploration of silence the natural outcome is that chatter is indeed dissolved or becomes quite manageable so as not be a concern any longer. Another way to cut the mental chatter, of course, is to engage in Self Inquiry while remaining in silence ... ask yourself "Who Am I?" and keep going deeper and resist the urge to analyze this question with someone else and see what is revealed.

To give all of this a personal touch ... my own journey evolved gradually  both in terms of duration and circumstances or external factors ... Years ago, before going to work, I used to spend several hours very early every morning in a solo meditation and other quiet activities. As I was drawn deeper and deeper to silence, I naturally started experimenting with 15-30mins of silence daily extending it to several days and then increased the duration to 1-2hours and extending that to several days and weeks. I participated in one weekend guided silent retreat with a group and concluded that I'd prefer solo self guided silent retreats of whatever durations. I also stayed at various monasteries, around the country, for 2-3 day durations. Finally, I explored deep and extended silence during two month long solo retreats, 1st at a Monastery in New Mexico immediately followed by a similar stay at an Ashram in the high mountains of Colorado.

My conclusion was ... and still is ... that ... silence is indeed here and now ... can be explored anytime and no special place or circumstance is necessary ... and it can be "deepened and refreshed" at any point in our regular lives right where one is!

Regular forays into silence are immensely beneficial in many many regards ... and, of course, are highly recommended!

Silence allows one to clearly see that ... thoughts simply come, linger and then go ... and if one does not chase after these thoughts or not go into further analysis or not create a story around them or not dissect them and so on ... then one can see - unmistakably -  that stillness is here regardless of the existence of thoughts. What a humorous, wondrous, and possibly terrifying journey awaits. Terrifying only because the attachment to the seeking has to be let go and there is terror in that ... wondrous and humorous because one sees the paradox of realizing That which one is seeking ... is already here!

With this episode, I'll close this segment re resolving the seeker's dilemma. And as usual we will revisit as and when appropriate.

We also have two other channels available: PolitOpine re contemporary American politics and Obama Presidency and RumiTime re mystical poetry readings from Rumi, Kabir and others.

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Thnx for sharing ur experiences & tips....

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