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The Silence Revolution
The Huffington Post Blog Translate This Article
5 April 2016
By Ann Purcell, author of The Transcendental Meditation Technique and the Journey of Enlightenment
Recently I read a Huffington Post article about the ''Quiet Revolution,'' a notion proposed by Susan Cain, author of the book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking. In fact, Huffington Post has joined forces with this laudable revolution, whose purpose is to inspire introverts to express their convictions, talents and passions within today's boisterous world of overpowering extroverts.
I propose taking the revolution one step deeper—from quiet to silence—to a ''Silence Revolution.''
What is A Silence Revolution?
At first, it may seem odd to put the words Silence and Revolution together. How does a ''Silence Revolution'' work?
Fulfillment is based on successful action. Effective action is based on powerful, comprehensive thinking. A powerful thought force is based on inner silence, just as the most powerful ocean waves arise from a swell from the ocean's depths. The more we can experience the state of silence in the depths of our being—the place from where all thoughts originate and take shape—the more successful we will be in our undertakings, whether we are an introvert or extrovert.
Every person on earth has a field of silence within. Innate to the ability to run is the ability to walk, and the ability to walk contains the ability to stand still. It is the same with the mind. Inherent in the ability to talk is the ability to think; the ability to think contains the ability to think quietly—to feel or intuit. The ability to think quietly holds the possibility for the mind to be completely still.
Silence is the natural ground state of our being and is the most powerful level of the mind. As we come closer to a light bulb, the light becomes stronger, brighter. Like this, our most powerful thoughts are those that are consciously projected from their source, the field of silent awareness.
How to Experience Silence
Yoga exercises, or asanas, are one way that people experience silence and transformation. Asanas are important for building a strong and flexible physiology and offer many health benefits. Yoga is also an effective way to calm and refresh the mind. There are moments within a yoga practice when the mind may become deeply settled. However, meditation can be far more effective than yoga asanas for experiencing the state of pure silence. There is a difference between the relaxation gained in average physical yoga practice and the experience of silence during transcendence, which is a fourth major state of consciousness.
The type of meditation I have found to be most profound for clearly experiencing the state of pure silence is Transcendental Meditation (TM). What I like about TM is that it is completely natural and effortless; it allows me to transcend the surface level of the mind. I experience finer and finer thoughts until even the finest thought impulse is transcended and my awareness opens to the state of transcendence—pure silence—Being.
This total settling of the mind has innumerable health benefits. Because the mind and body are intimately connected, as the mind goes to quieter levels during Transcendental Meditation, the body naturally settles into a profound state of rest. This deep rest allows stress in the body to dissolve, which allows all systems to function more effectively. Over 360 peer-reviewed studies on Transcendental Meditation demonstrate the tremendous scope of its benefits on mind, body, and behavior.
Research on Transcendental Meditation shows that during the practice of TM the brain produces high-power alpha waves. This distinct brain pattern corresponds to a state of restful alertness—inner wakefulness characterized by serenity, expanded awareness and bliss.
Additional research shows that practice of TM creates coherence between the left and right hemispheres of the brain. When the brain is more coherent and integrated, all the different parts communicate and work together as a whole. This results in improved mental performance—better memory, increased creativity, broader comprehension and sharper focus. Over time, this coherent brain functioning found during TM practice becomes stabilized even outside of meditation.
For decades, psychology has suggested that we are not using our full mental potential. A partially developed mind can only create partially developed solutions to challenges or problems.
If we give students the opportunity to learn Transcendental Meditation, we will see a new generation of happy, healthy, creative, stress-free individuals. These children will naturally use much more of their brain potential to develop holistic, far-reaching solutions to the multitude of problems in the world.
We All Want a Revolution
Age after age, the cry for change in the world has continued, and never more so than today. Revolution is now a buzzword in the media. Comedian Russell Brand's book Revolution echoes countless others in its claim that our political system is dysfunctional, our values topsy-turvy, and our lives on the brink of ruin. Bernie Sanders has been calling for a political revolution for decades. The surprising momentum Mr. Sanders is gaining in his run for the presidency is yet another sign that a vast number of people desire a real revolution—a true transformation.
Water the Root to Enjoy the Fruit
In our ever-evolving world, various kinds of revolution are inevitable, and some can lead to positive outcomes. If we wish to transform all the surface values of life in one fell swoop for the betterment of all, we must attend to their foundation. Like a gardener who waters the root of a tree to supply nourishment to all its branches, leaves, flowers and fruits, we must attend to the root of our existence by nourishing and infusing all aspects of life with the innermost peace and power of the lively vibrant silence at the source of thought. Introverts will become stronger in themselves and enjoy expressing themselves more; extroverts may settle down and respectfully listen to introverts. If enough people experience this most natural state of calm coherence within, we could generate a powerful influence for peace in the world. How about we give peace a chance? Join the millions of people around the world already engaged in the ''Silence Revolution'' to create peace from the level of peace within.
Copyright © 2016 The Huffington Post
Reprinted with permission of the author
Ann Purcell has been a full-time teacher of Transcendental Meditation since 1973, teaching Transcendental Meditation and advanced courses in many countries around the world. In addition, she has worked on curricula and course development for universities and continuing education programs. Ms. Purcell is the author of The Transcendental Meditation Technique and the Journey of Enlightenment, which has received the 2015 Living Now Book Award for the meditation category. She regularly writes for The Huffington Post.
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