The title was an old saying of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s, adapted from the Shankaracharya tradition. Everything we experience in the world and within ourselves arises out of silent being, alert presence. Silence is the foundation of all. This becomes clear with Self Realization when we become a silent observer of life as it unfolds around us, even more when refined perception develops.
This points to the importance of rest. If we don’t get enough rest (silence), fatigue gets stored as a backlog. We experience this as an inner fog. It reduces clarity, bliss, quality of life, and adds more to be healed.
It is common for us to go through periods of life – relationships, young children, shift work – where adequate rest is difficult to sustain. Responsibilities trump self-care. But still, we do what we can. There’s no value in ruining your health in the process.
On the other hand, people can use excess sleep as an escape. This cultures tamas and lethargy rather than clarity.
This is the principle of the balance of rest and activity. We need enough rest and spiritual practice but not too much.
If someone mistakenly shifts to using spiritual practices as an escape from life that too can lead to trouble. If a practice isn’t effective in 10 minutes, doing it for 2 hours will not help.
In India, they use the analogy of dying the cloth the traditional way. To make the colour fast, you dip the cloth in the dye, than hang it up in the sun to bleach. Repeat until the dye is fast. In the same way, we dip into source, then step out into the world to bleach it in.
If you leave it soaking in the dye (too much practice), the cloth will rot. If you leave it in the sun (too much in the world) it will bleach out and not become fast.
The key is balance. Dipping into source, then bleaching it out through daily activity. This bleaching integrates the experience and helps makes it fast. Eventually, you reach a point where nothing can disturb the inner silent peace. We are the observer, uninvolved in the field of life.
We don’t need perfection here. Everyone has bad sleeps and rough days. But it’s good to have a balance of rest and activity to gain inner clarity and awaken. A reasonably balanced lifestyle also helps.
For a long time, I’ve made being rested a priority. It’s not always worked and there are always those late nights, physically exhausting days, and big social events. But by sustaining an overall balance, the clarity is there that allows subtle impulses to be noticed and thus for insights and blog posts.
On balance, if we stay rested, it will raise our quality of life and happiness. Your daily habits and routine do add up. Moderation is the guide.