Jai Guru Deva,
Couple of weeks back I did my advance course in the Ashram. The major attraction of the advance course is the opportunity to stay in silence for few days. This concept of silence sounds very weird to people who are not associated with Art of Living and generally a source of jokes and satire on the spiritual path. For me, silence is perhaps the greatest bliss I ever enjoyed. There is no greater joy, there is no deeper ecstasy and definitely no bigger comfort. My job is project management and I end up participating in a lot of stressful conversations whether I like it or not. Not always these conversations leave me in high spirits. On a personal side also, my life is very very eventful and ensure that I get the true gist of my presence on this planet. So silence helps a lot to cleanse the negative impressions that I get and the negative emotions that I may end up carrying. It has been almost 20 days since I did my course and I didnt get angry even once. (I didnt get angry atleast once between Ugadi of 2010 and Ugadi of 2011 and I really aspire to beat that record.)
More importantly, silence helps to understand your own thought process. Te hell with the world, atleast YOU should understand yourself. Staying in silence helps to identify the blind spots in our personality. Sometimes I wonder what would have happened to me if I have not habituated sadhana. Yes, I am not doing seva any more and attend satsangs occasionally still my sadhana is more than 95%. I have no regrets for whatever happened in the past and I am not afraid of anything that is going to happen in the future. Staying in silence makes you understand that you dont need anything from the past or future to be happy. You can be happy irrespective any other happening on this planet because that is what you chose to be. Period!
When I was doing the course during some of the process and some yoga sessions I had tears in my eyes for taking so much of gap for the course. May be now I have earned to come back to the ashram and stay in silence. After the course is over and I am back to my normal people atleast four people told me that my face as got some glow. That is the glow of being with myself. That is the glow of coming to terms with the hard realities of life. That is the glow of smiling without reason. That is the glow of celebrating life. All of this happen without any effort from me, I just participate in the meditations giving my 100% and Guruji will ensure that I get what I need. There is absolutely no effort from my side. All the bliss flows very naturally and beautifully. Thats why I really wanted to do an advance course atleast once in an year.