About Silence On Sundays

BEING PURE………PERFECT………FREE………FOREVER

There is a common experience among human beings that causes all kinds of difficulties. In our minds we seem to put limits on ourselves, then when we realise we have done this, we start to strive to become or achieve something we think we are not. Having spent years of trying to get free we end up doubting ourselves, along with the validity of all the work we have been doing in the spiritual realm. Far from feeling at peace and inwardly content, we become a ball of tension and frustration. No wonder the mind thinks, there has to be a better way to live.

Amongst all the creatures, the human being has been uniquely gifted with the ability to know the reality of Oneself and the unity of all things. The teaching of Oneness, drawn from the philosophy of Vedanta, makes it supremely clear that That which never changes, is not born and does not die, is the Witness Observer or Supreme Knower of everything that takes place. That Knower is pure. That Knower is perfect. That Knower is Free. And that Knower lives forever. In everyone of us we call that Knower “ I” and it lives in each of us as Pure Awareness.

Our work together in Silence on Sundays allows time which we normally do not give ourselves to let the body, mind and heart cease from all doing or becoming anything; we are simply invited to rest in that pure awarenessas the Knower, the Witness, the true “I”, which is our Self, pure, perfect, free, forever. As we get quieter, the stresses and tensions of the whole week are given the chance to drop away and we can come to experience a deep inner rest and peace, along with advancing the discovery of who we really are.

Our Sources

The silence and stillness practices are drawn from a range of traditions. Many of them are adapted to meet present-day circumstances and to allow ease of access for those who have not practised in this way before. Participants are advised to choose which practice most meets their needs at that time on this particular day. This of course will vary week by week. Guidance is given where needed.

From the Zen tradition there are a series of simple breathing and counting exercises and meditative walking.

From the Advaita Vedanta tradition there are exercises in self-enquiry, contemplation and mantra meditation.

From the Christian tradition there is the practice of LectioDivina, involving the faithful reading of scripture and deep penetration of its inner meaning.

From the Contemporary Spiritual movement there are exercises in resting in the present moment Now, releasing tension and experience of timelessness.

Teachers from whom inspiration has been drawn include ShantanandaSaraswati, Swami Shyam, ThichNhat Hahn, Father Lawrence Freeman, John Main, Bede Griffiths and Eckhart Tolle. Although their approaches are different their messages resonate with Oneness through the power of pure awareness. All have taught humankind how to meditate and be mindful.

The great masters from whom inspiration has been received include the Buddha, the Lord Sri Krishna, Jesus and the 8th century sage, Shankara.

Silence on Sundays is totally non-denominational. Silence and stillness belong to all traditions and can not be claimed by any one.

Our Discoveries

By practising meditation and mindfulness exercises in silence for the morning, we have an opportunity to know that the “I”, which is the Seer in all of us, is the eternal light behind the mind, without which no thoughts or ideas can be seen. And when we see such movements, it is simple evidence that the Witnessing “I” is present, in place; awake and aware. In the same way, “I” am the eternal ‘feeler’ of all emotions; no different from the experience itself. “I” as the Knower am limitless and formless, just like the Space in the sky.

Whatever moves across the Space does not touch the Space and yet the Space is permeating every aspect of it. Space is a wonderful analogy for the real Self of us all, for just like Space, one’s true Self does not come and go, does not change or alter, does not get excited or depressed by what is happening in it. It is the Source of all that we see, hear, taste, touch and smell and all that we experience is ultimately nothing but an expression of one’s own Self.

Usually, our minds and emotions are forever on the move, and we take everything personally. We load up our “I” with likes and dislikes, good and bad, rights and wrongs and we take the body, the package of thoughts and our feelings to be who we are. Our taking personally nearly everything that happens manifests in a lack of stillness and we fail to see that the real “I” - the “I” of everyone - is pure, perfect, free, forever. Stepping free of these binding thoughts and feelings is called liberation. The essence of Vedanta is that I am free now, and the practice is to remember this again and again. Silence on Sundays provides such an opportunity.

Hosts

Silence on Sundays is NOT an organisation. Nor is it under the direction or associated with any other organisation. We do, however, have close links with the International Meditation Institute, Kullu, in Himachal Pradesh, India. The SoS initiative has arisen within the hearts of a small number of people who have been working for some time to discover their true nature and who wish to deepen their experience of Oneness.

The Hosts of the mornings are David and Marian Boddy, and the venue is the beautiful home they live in on the banks of the River Thames at Twickenham, Middlesex.

David and Marian have studied Vedanta philosophy for more than 35 years and have been practising mantra-based meditation for much of that time. Along with many participants, they frequently visit the International Meditation Institute. David was formerly Headmaster of St James Independent School for Senior Boys, which practices meditation and Quiet Time on a daily basis as part of its curriculum. He founded the Lucca Leadership Trust for young people aged 16-30 and is the author of three books on philosophy and education.

How to Experience ‘Silence on Sundays’

If you think you would like to join the meditation and mindfulness practices on Sunday mornings, firstly ask yourself the following questions:

If you honestly answer each of these questions positively, please complete the Participant Information Form below and send it to us. Mr Ian Wood of the Foundation for Harmonious Living, who is helping to administer this initiative, will then contact you and discuss arrangements. If you have not experienced any form of meditation beforehand, some preliminary guidance will be given before your first Sunday morning, and more will follow when you arrive.

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Costs

There are no charges associated with this initiative. The time of people helping to organise the mornings , along with the premises used, are all given without charge. Donations towards the cost of refreshments may be requested.

Be still and know that I am God. - Psalm 46