‘AAO: Arrive at Origin’ Workshop
SNIPPETS OF DAY 5: Emotional Cleansing
Message by Dr Alka Chopra Madan
On Day 5, most could experience an emotional release as they could feel nothing, which signifies that you have stopped defining your state of mind in terms of your emotions. We are generally accustomed to feeling something or the other- either we feel good or bad or positive or negative. And naturally, we find ourselves expressing our emotions to others by saying ‘Oh, I feel good or ‘I feel pleasant’ or ‘I feel miserable’. These definitions of how we feel are a trap we all are into. Feeling ‘nothing’ through observing silence signifies an emotional release where we do not feel the need to have some kind of emotion all the time.
I will share two examples of my initial experiences with observing silence. I started feeling the need to find the meaning of existence when I was nineteen, because of which I read extensively and explored numerous spiritual practices. Observing silence was one of these practices, and initially, when I started this, I was guided by my mentor to practice this for six months on a regular basis. We would practice this daily at three o’clock in the afternoon, and every single day I would pray that the session would get cancelled because otherwise, I would have to sit for around 2 hours, which I initially detested. Little did I realize how observing silence impacted my behaviour until one of my friends commented that I had stopped getting angry. After hearing her comment, I reflected on how drastically my behaviour had changed.
Another incident which made me realize how sitting in silence was aiding me in improving my life was when I started noticing how I had gained the ability to be more mindful and spontaneous. More importantly, I started experiencing more appropriate emotions when faced with different situations. Also, I realized that there was no need to have emotions all the time.
In the present times, we believe that we must be cheerful at all times during the day. However, in my view, it is absolutely normal to feel no emotion. I believe that we must attain a state of nothingness not only during the sessions but also during the entire day. The real test of being successful in this practice is our ability to maintain this feeling of nothingness in our real lives. What you automatically realize during the process is that when you change yourself, you change your surroundings and environment too, which helps you feel calmer and enables the people around you to feel calm. And whenever you reach that state, a chain reaction begins where you gain the ability to influence your surroundings very peacefully and effortlessly.
This session is an ongoing drill to help you reach that permanent state of nothingness in your daily life, unbothered by the need to feel any emotion. I’ve said this before and reiterate that even if you practice observing silence after a month from the end of this session, you will not need to start from the base. Once you have observed silence, you’ve already reached a significant level of awareness and do not need to start from scratch.
Experiences of the Participants
- On Day 5, the participants could feel the impact observing silence had on them during the session and throughout the day.
- A point of ‘nothingness’- thinking nothing and feeling nothing was experienced during and after the session.
- Distractions faced throughout the day also seemed to fade away.
- Majorly, a need for a break from the mundane activities of life was felt.
- Mindfulness increased, and the stress of the daily chores felt manageable and achievable as sitting in silence allowed the overwhelming thoughts to be processed effortlessly.
- The tendency to make mistakes lessened.
- Not experiencing emotions sometimes can make you feel unnatural as it makes you feel different from other people. But this is, in fact, the most natural.
- The intoxication experienced from observing silence is so high that one feels nothing even after consuming alcohol. After observing silence, this inability to be affected by liquor is felt gradually but is irreversible.
- You will start getting curious about how you will feel after adopting the practice of observing silence in your daily routine and how it will impact you.
- People around you might start noticing positive changes in your behaviour and life.