What I Unlearned Being Silent for Fifteen Days

🇧🇷     🇺🇸

After a decade going to spiritual and meditation retreats, they are not exactly a novelty to me—unless you bear in mind that no retreat is the same. However, I felt like a newbie at the last silent retreat with my Master. It was the first time I spent fifteen days wholeheartedly immersed in the experience of being in silence. In other words: It was my first time totally dedicated to listening, reading, figuring out myself. It was my first time exploring a cave: my heart. My unlearning of certain things was the missing key to open the padlock protecting access to my unconscious, to tearing down walls and finding the false bottom hiding important truths.

Perhaps you, as I myself did before, might think: “I’ve done it! Spent a couple of days in silence.” Or even: “I spend the day basically by myself and thus remain in silence”. Okay. But have you ever really been silent?

The first day at a retreat where you have already been and with people you have met before is mostly touching base. Between hugs, laughs, and sharing we all recognized on each other the friend we haven’t seen for almost six months. Some came with startling news, others were like “Ah! Same old same old.” While those hours passed we got prepared to dive into silence.

When the mountains still blocked the sunbeams we were all rise and shine in the temple, meditating. Dynamically. Following guidelines Osho left and our Living-Master’s advice, the group of over one-hundred Sannyasins—yours truly included—started breathing chaotically. No rhythm, no expectations, no rules, just feeling the air coming in and out our noses, burning our nostrils and cleaning all the way to and fro the lungs, feeling the heat and the cold of some good energy. When the music changed we could not help ourselves but scream. From the top of our lungs we screamed, we shouted words, we moved however the body made us in cathartic ten minutes of sending it all out. Then the music changed again to make us jump on both flat feet, arms up, letting out the mantra “Hoo,” until a strong voice warned: “Stop!” And just like kids playing we froze. In whatever position we found ourselves, we just stopped and remained there, watching, observing, feeling the waves going through our physical and subtle bodies. Letting go of the mind, which appreciates telling us we are tired and cannot remain in a position for so long. But we can! We can do it. Because we are in charge, and nothing is more important than feeling and following our hearts, just witnessing the power and energy of the moment. Until another music played and we just let our bodies loose, flowing in the rhythm like a bird cutting into the air, wings spread wide, no flapping, no worries, just being.

Followed by silent work meditation—for some it meant to rake the garden, for others to chop vegetables, and there are the ones cleaning up the restaurant and/or kitchen, just to mention some activities—, Kundalini Meditation, Chakra Breathing Meditation, and group gatherings to explore Bhagavan Sri Râmana Mahârshi’s golden question “Who am I?”, Osho’s Dynamic Meditation composed this well organized schedule which allowed us dive deep and fly high, silently searching for the truth. But none of those would work as well as they did without the most important event in the schedule: Satsangs. Sitting in silence, heart open, listening to our Guru is a must to spiritual growth, or awakening.

I find it amazing how we can learn from several readings available at any time, anywhere. There is no limit to gaining knowledge. However, being around a living Master makes the journey a pleasant walk in the meadow, no ifs, ands or buts about it. You just follow the steps, taking notice of the surroundings. And suddenly you realize that when there is nothing to say there is no need to speak. And most of the time, there is nothing to say. Life and Love completely permeate such relationship, which shake, awake, and move us. It nurtures something I like to think of as wings; but it also give us roots—we fly high and dive deep.

In fifteen days I unlearned everything society forced me into. It was like laying my finger on the delete key for days, and then looking into a mirror to find out I’m a blank page, to be written on now. There is only one moment I can write on that page: Now. There is only one moment I can read that page: Now. I am now.

I unlearned the face of my ego. I turned inside out. I cracked open the shell and touched the innermost part of my being. It seems like there is no way back, unless I get back to sleep. Because this time, I have really remained silent. It was not just about shutting up my mouth, but rather, focus was on silencing my mind or the voices not belonging to my heart; it was about “shushing” the ego.

I unlearned all the competition they make this life about, which shackles us to lies we end up living for the sake of an image we try hard to fit into the screen of a fictionalized world we are all—together—creating.

I unlearned the singular form and realized that thinking in terms of “the other” is segregating. It is past time we drop this splitter language and understand it is all about “we,” not “I + she/he.” But first, let’s make it about the self, not the ego—much less so about the selfie. First and foremost, populate yourself by your self. Drop the ego. Touch base with who you are, and Love who you are. Only then it will be possible to “love thy neighbor as thyself.”

I unlearned one of the cruelest lessons they have taught me: How to kill my first love, the Love I should have nurtured since day one in society, which is the love for my nature. Because there is no music more beautiful than the silence of nature, of my innocence, of my “child-good”. And it is in this space I have created—sacred and safe—that I can nurture Love for humanity, and compassion, and build understanding. That is the real sense of communalism. That is true Love. And it starts within, then it floods, touches and connects lives. We are all beings sharing existence.

Although in silence, I unlearned to be quiet and afraid. My voice is that coming from the silent space of my heart; it is my truth, my being. It does not come out only in words. Otherwise, it would be just nonsense. My voice is my action, absolutely in harmony with my thoughts. And I unlearned faith along with the meaning of God as they teach us. Because we are all and each “the entire ocean in a drop.” Whatever I do to my self, I do to the Universe, and vice-versa. I am whoever I am at the moment; but I am also the lives surrounding me, man and woman, sublime and grotesque, good and evil. I unlearned which would be my place in a box.

There is a God in me, in you, in all of us, which is our divine nature. We are all accountable for the lives we all—together— have been living. And the more we perpetuate killing the first love, the more we hold humanity miserable. It is in the plates of each one of us to change; or rather, to quit the game of suffering and accept freedom. We are born free. The more we listen to sounds from outside the more we miss what happens within. It is in real silence that we connect, with compassion, Love, respect, and care.

Peace, Love and Life for all,

Bhuvi ♥︎

You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop.

rumi

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Death is transition

 Para ler este texto em português, clique aqui.

I had never seen death happening until the day one of my cats died. She suffered from a chronic kidney condition which made her life gradually become a heavy burden for her. When she was no longer able to use the sand box appropriately nor eat, she no longer interacted much with us or the other cats, the vet warned us she would not get any better and suffering would increase, so helping her pass would be a wise and compassionate decision.

On a Saturday morning we took a cab holding Ana in her carrier and trying hard to keep our hearts whole and in peace.

She was quiet and peaceful all the way there and even when we were finally in the clinic, holding her in our arms and talking to the vet to make sure that was it. We also made sure she felt Love flooding from our hearts her way.

The vet separated the material she needed to give Ana the injection. Filled with care and respect to that living being, she started the process.

When the first milligrams of anestesia went through the IV catheter I leaned toward Ana and looked into her eyes. Suddenly they went empty. There was no life in that body. Ana was gone.

All my readings and meditation, all my thoughts and inquiries concerning death suddenly came together in my heart, making sense—a little, at least.

Souls are free. They are energy; they are vibration. They populate a body and become a certain shape, but they themselves are amorphous, light, and fluid. Souls are divine; they are the source: pure love. While I saw something happen in those eyes; while I dove into the blackness of her pupils I could see Ana fly away and leave the body. That was when I felt death—not sure yet how little I understood it. It was strong.

I had never seen it happen; I had never seen death itself. But now that I did, now that I actually saw how the eyes are windows to the soul, one thing is clear: we become fragmented, we split the moment we take a certain shape. Throughout life, as we try to fit this and that position and meet patterns, we shatter. Then we try to find and put smithereens together, not knowing they never fall far from us; they are inside. When we die, we become whole again.

Souls are beings. Bodies are (e)states. Death is transition.

While we root ourselves through consciousness—meditation gives us those roots and the deeper they go the higher we grow—, Love gives us wings, and it is through Love that we reunite with the divine and we are able to leave the shape and be essence. It is through Love that we know the truth and get rid of the ego, the layers distancing our souls from the world. Through Love we live reality. Love is God, God is freedom, our wings to fly. Where there is Love there is no fear but rather freedom.

We die. We frequently die, whenever we are able to flee the shape and be real, whole. And that was how I saw death as an action which is part of the process Life. My mind might try to find Ana in that spot she spent most of her last days on Earth, but my heart knows she was more than that shape materially present in my life. She is much more than Ana.

May that soul be peaceful in the light.
Akaal

Om Shanti

Honoring the life of Ana, aka The Ancient Dragon, and her 14 years of adventure on Earth! 🖤

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Like a River | Como um rio

Like a river
Life flows
From birth to death.

In the end
We all join the ocean.

To flow is
To remain fresh.
If you build a dam
no more springs will come.

Embanked water becomes stale
And accumulates poison.

Do not contaminate your heart!

Flow
Let go, and
Be fresh.

Nothing you hoard
should do you good.
Om Shanti


Como um rio
a vida flui
do nascimento à morte.

Ao final, todos nós
encontramos o oceano.

Fluir é constantemente renovar-se.
Se você construir uma barragem,
não haverá nascentes.

Água represada deteriora,
acumula veneno.

Não contamine seu coração!

Deixe fluir,
desapegue-se,
renove-se.

Nada do que você retém,
pode fazer bem.
Om Shanti
♥︎

In the end
We all join the ocean.

***

Ao final, todos nós
encontramos o oceano.


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The Gray Being

[Quer ler este conto em português? Clique aqui!] 

In a not so far away land lived a family. Father, mother, sister, and brother were happy together.

Until one day a strange little form of life appeared. They were very uncomfortable because it was very different from everything they had ever seen.

Not knowing what to do and how to deal with that difference, they put it in a shoe box and kept the box in the closet.

Every now and then, they would check on the gray being now living with them. But the siblings did nothing but peek with an eye through a crack made on the carton, and the parents never got close to it.

A certain afternoon the brother asked the sister to lend him her light.

“But it won’t work with you,” she replied to his request.

“I just want to try and see what that thing really is.”

He walked toward the closet and quietly said: “And maybe kill it, so we don’t have to deal with it. I don’t want any trouble.”

The sister, who was a very good listener, was able to hear her brother’s thoughts. She told her parents he was planning to kill that being to get rid of something he considered a trouble.

No one cared.

“Better eliminate it than living any hassle,” said the father.

“Yes, we should always prevent any future inconvenience,”
reinforced the mother.

“But it’s a being. And right now it is so peaceful in its own way,” exclaimed the sister before running back to the room where she found her brother looking into the box.

“Don’t kill it brother,” she startled him.

“Oh, but it now looks like a bat.”

“Is it a bat? And do we have to kill bats?”

“No. No.”

“Why don’t we let it go? Just allow it to fly away!”

“Because it looks like it could become two, and harm our family.”

“I don’t understand, brother. Did it reproduce?”

“No.”

“Does it make threatening moves?”

“No.”

“Let me take a look.”

The sister cast her light into the box.

“Brother, come and take another peek!” she cried surprised.

“I told you. It must now be a monster, and we have got to kill it,” without the courage to look again, the brother left the room. “I am going to find the right weapon.”

“No, brother,” she stopped him. “It is so tiny. It is so lovely! I am sure it’s harmless. It might even not survive outside this box we’ve created.”

“I told you only with your light it would be revealed.”

“So why don’t you go and find your light? Maybe then there will be no more 'gray' beings. In the light of Love we are equal; we are all whole, and there is no fear.”

Not knowing what to do and how to deal with that difference, they put it in a shoe box and kept the box in the closet. Every now and then, they would check on the gray being now living with them. But the siblings did nothing but peek with an eye through a crack made on the carton…


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Meditation and Compassion (foundation of a loving life)

[Para ler em português, clique aqui.] 

My name is Bhuvi.
Bhuvi means Heaven.
But if I disregard the fact that verb is what defines us, this will be yet another noun, a strange word with no importance—unreal appearance.


I am Bhuvi and this is my practice:
To understand “love is the ladder between heaven and hell,” but heaven and hell are not material spaces nor are they autonomous; they only exist in ourselves, and ladders are two-way accesses. To daily choose to nurture heaven and to follow the path of love—give up war and fossilized social constructions of prejudice, approaching the reality within each one.


I therefore commit myself to seek a conscious and awake existence, heartfelt toward myself and the others, practicing “cultural humility”—as coined by Dr. Jann Murray-Garcia and Dr. Melanie Tervalon—which I define as Meditation and Compassion (foundations of a loving life). Such is the practice to contribute with peace for all sentient beings, and end suffer on Earth — the Lotus paradise.


Some people might consider humbleness as weakness or submission. However, when I look at cultural humility as meditation and compassion, I relate the practice with strength and determination to listen to people, seeking complete understanding of the being: discourse, physical body, and subtle body, i.e., see, understand, and accept uniqueness of different existences. More importantly, to listen and completely understand my own essence, acknowledging my prejudice, limitations, and patterns, then letting go of cultural heritage: internalized and incorporated behaviors, and definitions—addictions.


To meditate is to be in humble silence, to find your center, surrendering to awareness and observation of how your own existence affects the others, and how you relate to patterns and diverse identities. To meditate is to figure yourself out. To practice compassion is to be constantly Love—comprehension, bestowal, care—, a non situational existence; it is to figure out the others. Both practices are about getting rid of the ego, the makeup we put on to disguise essence.


The exercise demands: Go beyond appearances, understanding there is no limited list of livable lives, and all existences are possible. It is not about being politically correct, but about respecting natural diversity and constant mutation—identities are multidimensional and cannot be abridged by desires and expectations, much less by judgements.


Practicing active listening—reflexion with sensibility and inquiry—is one of the paths to cure community and transform poisons such as greed, hatred, envy, jealousy, materialism, and others into antidote against hopelessness. And through cultural humility we can deconstruct toxic relationships among beings, allowing the hearts to be stronger, nurturing the healthy growth of all existences. That is the real alchemy. With such practice, we put down walls and build up bridges, which allows life in communion.


I am Bhuvi. My practice is based on heaven, which I chose to nurture inside myself—May my thoughts, words, and actions contribute to happiness and freedom among all beings.


How about you? What is your practice?


Om Shanti

Bhuvi
भुवि ♥️