Wednesday, April 01, 2009

I find myself craving silence. Not just a moment of silence or the thought of silence or some time when I’m not talking, but the kind of silence that I can wrap myself in like a blanket. It’s the kind of silence that doesn’t involve going to a yoga class in a studio where a teacher provides instruction or there’s music or there’s people wanting to say hello before or after class. I’m looking for the kind of silence uninterrupted by music, even instrumental, or the television. Silence. I do, though, welcome the sounds of the birds outside my open window. And the birds remind me a bit of the whispers of my breath, the wind through the trees, the far off sounds of cars that are inescapable in my current habitat but blend in. The far-off foghorn, that’s okay too.

It’s not that I’m antisocial. Far from it, in fact. My morning started today with cutting and pasting and editing class descriptions and teacher profiles for the New Living Expo, this month in San Francisco and then moved on to my regular class at the Montecito YMCA complete with goofiness, made-up words (think unstiffify yourself) and admonitions to get juicy in the joints. Next up, board of directors’ conference call, the California Association of Ayurvedic Medicine (CAAM). It reminds me a bit of episodes of Pinky and the Brain my ex-boyfriend loved to watch, and I got hooked on by proxy: “Brain, what are we going to do today?” “Take over the world.” So CAAM’s purpose in life is to take over the world and spread the message of the healing power of Ayurveda. Nearly an hour and a half of concoctions before I’m off to see Sri Karunamayi chant and sing to remove our obstacles and honor our divine nature and then talk about the need for laughter (and we laughed), turning the tide of negativity, finding that part of ourselves that is divine and then blessings and lunch with friends old and new. Hours and hours of social time.

Now, all I want is silence. It’s rejuvenating, regenerating, restorative. Our words have power, so when we take a moment to hold them in, the charge builds. Silence allows us to digest. And digestion, according to Ayurveda, is the essence, the root of our health and well-being. All day long we absorb and take in sensory impressions, through our mouth, our eyes, our ears, our skin. It nearly never ends. Everything we take in, in every moment, becomes part of us, part and parcel of our cellular makeup, our mind and our body and our very being. Without taking the time to pause, we get indigestion. It’s just like if we ate constantly, never stopping the motion of tasting, chewing and swallowing. When would we process?

So those moments, minutes, hours of silence when awake are precious, to be treasured, enjoyed, savored. It’s part of what makes us healthy. It’s the yin to the yang of activity and socializing.

Now, back to the birds and the breath.

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