‘AAO: Arrive at Origin’ Workshop
Snippets of Day 1: Become Aware of Yourself
The ‘AAO: Arrive at Origin Workshop’ guided by Dr Alka Chopra Madan, started on May 23, 2022, at 7 p.m. (PST). We’ve written a summary of the workshop’s first day below so that you, too, can benefit from the process. Also, stay updated with us to get daily snippets of the workshop.
What is Observing Silence?
Firstly, we must note that observing silence is not a silent process. Although we sit quietly, it is not a quiet process because we travel through the following:
- Travel through different thoughts
- Travel through the noise around us
- Travel through time
- Travel through different sensations
How is Observing Silence a Travel Through These Aspects?
Travel through different thoughts– When you start the process, the randomness of thoughts is way higher than you have ever experienced. Experiencing these thoughts is natural because these thoughts need your attention, and you haven’t given any attention to those thoughts. You are presented with information that you haven’t processed. And when it gets processed, your attention will no longer be on those thoughts. This will allow you to observe how your thought process works. It jumps from topic to topic, from place to place, from people to people, from bad to good moments. But we must remember that it is doing its work very systematically. We need to believe that it is very systematic as it works by itself. You must not interfere with your thoughts. It is simply processing every thought priority wise.
Also, in the process, you will receive only those thoughts you can face. It will not remind you of sad or negative things if you are not ready for it. Hence, negative thoughts will not emerge. However, if you are prepared for those thoughts, they will occur. And you must not interfere with it.
Travel through the noise around us– While observing silence, you must not be bothered about the noise around you. Not everyone has to be silent around you when you are doing the process.
Travel through time– When you observe silence, remember you are traveling through time as you start at one particular time and then keep moving, minute by minute as the clock keeps moving.
Travel through different sensations – While observing silence, you tend to touch your face, move your neck or change your positions. All these actions are a sort of exit from acquired behaviours. All these sensations depict that we are making progress in the journey.
What is a Pleasant and Effective Travel When Observing Silence?
Like when you wish to travel, you always need the guidance of some maps and navigation guidance. Safe travel when observing silence is when you sit, do nothing, and leave it to the compass of universal guidance. This guidance is available to everyone. Just leave yourself to the compass of universal wisdom and navigation. If you interfere with the universal compass or guidance, your travel through silence will not be as effective.
Instructions Given to the Participants on Day One of the Workshop:
- Choose a comfortable seat.
- Wear comfortable clothes.
- Eat proper food before starting the process.
- Everyone and everything around you don’t have to be silent. Don’t be bothered by the noise you hear.
- You might experience some pains or irritations. They will disappear gradually.
- Don’t be too conscious of your thoughts. Your tendency to become mindful of thoughts implies that we feel a separateness between our thoughts and ourselves. In the process of observing silence that your ‘thoughts’ and ‘your being’ become one, taking us towards wholeness and oneness.
Since it was the first day, fewer instructions were given so that the participants get used to it. But gradually, we will proceed in a way that the participants can experience the process of observing silence most effectively.
Advice to be Followed for Day Two of the Workshop
Don’t give in to your urge to scratch, move, or change your position when you start the process.
What does ‘AAO: ARRIVE AT ORIGIN’ mean?
‘AAO: Arrive at Origin’ is a process that involves observing silence and is an alternative to mindfulness techniques and meditation practices. These techniques and methods sound so complicated to most people that they believe them to be meant only for individuals who wish to find an escape from reality. To make it more approachable for people from all walks of life, Dr Alka Chopra Madan uses the term ‘AAO’, which stands for ‘Arrive at Origin’ for a process that involves observing silence. “AAO” or “आओ” is pronounced as /aʊ/ in Hindi, which means ‘To Arrive’. By observing silence, we embark on a journey to come back to ourselves and ‘arrive at our origin’, which is our real selves. It is a process that allows people to resolve the complexities of their life and achieve a peaceful state of mind by sitting in silence for flexible durations of time.
Meditation involves controlling, chanting, breathing, and focusing on a particular spot, and mindfulness is like constantly being aware. These include making efforts for actions that may not require an effort otherwise. For instance, it needs you to stay aware that you picked up a fruit and you are eating it.
By observing silence, you go to the natural state like a bird, who, while eating food, is naturally aware of it. No one has to remind the bird to be conscious and aware of what it is eating. That is how we become by observing silence: fully aware of the present time and enjoying it.