Mouna - Antar Mouna

Yoga 17/12/2014

Mouna - silence, practice of silence

The word mouna, or silence, is derived from the Sanskrit root mun meaning to measure.

The mouna system is not only to stop talking, but to have better control over the expressions of the senses. The aim of mouna is to measure and observe the entrance and exit of the senses, as a way of obtaining inner silence.

There are different types of silence.

Some keep quiet but speak when necessary. At this point, discourse is controlled.

Some do not speak, but use writing paper and also use gestures to communicate.

Some do not write or have eye contact, they completely avoid communication with others.

Through the practice of mouna, in any form, we ideally wish to attain mouna of the mind. Prana is the life force energy that sustains life. It is used with thinking, speaking and acting. In yoga we try to control prana, reduce the waste of prana and try to channel it for more spiritual purposes. It is said that whoever loses their prana using it unnecessarily, will end their life more quickly. Therefore, prana must be preserved. By gaining control over the discourse we can control the output of prana and achieve balance and inner silence.

Speaking is one of the main expressions of human personality and is part of human nature. If we cut off this sensory experience then the mind has to find other ways of expressing its energy. When you are interacting with people it is difficult to study yourself. If you are alone for an hour or more, you can gradually begin to observe and understand the workings and patterns of the mind, which leads to self-analysis and contemplation. So you become more introverted and aware of your thoughts, desires, emotions, and so on. It is said that through the practice of silence it will be possible to develop the attitude of a seer, or one who observes everything.

Through silence, we can begin more mental work. The brain and nerves are calmed and meditation becomes easier. Silence develops will power, strengthens resolve, gives peace of mind, makes it easier to speak the truth and gives control over speech. Helps control anger, irritability and emotions. It is also useful for physical and mental healing. It brings serenity, calmness and enhances inner spiritual strength.

It is recommended that we should spend a week a year in complete solitude, staying in one place, not interacting with anyone and living a simple life. Many people living in monasteries carry this type of life, although the average person can and should do this.

But practicing silence does not mean that we should do it only once a year. It should be part of our daily life - silence, and restrict speech. You will notice that even with just speech restriction there are many benefits. Silence is best practiced at certain times of the day, an hour or more is ideal. If practiced at any given time it will prevent others, such as family and friends, from interacting with you at these times. It will give regularity and increase your strength of will and inner strength. In keeping with the silence you should not be doing your ordinary work (if your daily routine does not allow you to take this moment of silence, it is better to apply it in one of the tasks you perform), ideally you can do asana (physical and mental posture) , Pranayama (breathing), meditation, mantras (vocalization of sounds), reading spiritual books, or other practice aimed at self-knowledge. The best times for mouna practice are in the early morning and late afternoon, and these are also the best times for yoga practice.

In daily life brings discipline to your speech. Avoid long conversations and unnecessary conversations. If you talk a lot and then practice silence, these two practices will counterbalance and there are no benefits. There must be continuous discipline of speech, every word and must be carefully observed. It should become part of daily life.

Antar Mouna (Inner Silence) Meditation

Antar Mouna belongs to the fifth stage of raja yoga.

The fifth stage of raja yoga is classically and academically called Pratyahara, which literally means retreat or retreat.

The word ahara means "food"; Pratyahara translates as "withdrawing that which feeds the senses." In yoga, the term pratyahara implies the withdrawal of the senses from attachment to external objects. It can then be seen as the practice of non-attachment to sensory distractions, this practice leads us to the path of self-realization and the attainment of inner peace. This means that our senses have stopped living because of the things that stimulate them, the senses no longer depend on these stimuli and are not fed by them.

Antar Mouna helps us to "cultivate the Witness." In some texts in Sanskrit, the witness is also called Drashta, or Sakshi. The witness is considered the true essence of the individual, the person who perceives everything and is unaffected by anything.

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