When the mind is silent and peaceful it becomes very powerful. It becomes the receptor of bliss and wisdom, a perfect instrument. Life becomes a spontaneous flow and expression of joy. All this arises naturally when the mind is in a state of inner silence. However, this inner silence can never arise when there is a continual stream of disturbing thoughts and turbulent emotions. All the inner noise of thoughts and emotions has to be removed before one can experience the soundless sound of inner silence. The yogic practice Antar mouna, is designed specifically to eradicate mental noise and induce calmness in the mind.
Everyone has mental suppressions. Since a young age we have habitually suppressed nasty thoughts and desires and tried to forget bad experiences. But suppression does not solve the problem, for the thoughts merely stay submerged in the subconscious realms of the mind in seed form. Even if we are not conscious of them, these suppressed thoughts act secretly from the subconscious to bring pain, unhappiness and frustration in life. To find happiness, real happiness, these mental impressions have to be rooted out. The excellent and direct method is the practice of antar mouna.
What is antar mauna:
The word antar means 'inner' and mouna means 'silence'. Therefore, the meaning of antar mouna is 'inner silence’; it is a meditative technique that leads to inner tranquility and silence. Antar mouna is a basic practice of yoga. It is a fundamental part of Buddhist practice also, which is known as Vipasana. It is one of the most direct methods of tackling the problems of the mind.
Antar mouna is very systematic yogic practice. Firstly, it increases one's resistance to external disturbances. Then it allows subconscious thoughts and pent-up emotions to slowly bubble up to conscious perception. One directly confronts the contents of the subconscious mind: long forgotten memories, fears, hatreds and so forth. Thoughts and feelings that have been hidden for years come to the surface and are exhausted. Gradually the mind is harmonized over a period of time. The mind becomes progressively tranquil and one-pointed.
Antar mouna is to be used by those people who have disturbances in the mind. It will gradually harmonize the mind so that it eventually attains a state of thoughtlessness and meditation. Antar mouna consists of six separate stages. These are briefly as follows:
Stage 1: awareness of sense perception of touch and smell The purpose of this stage is to reduce the influence of outside impressions on one's perception. Intentional perception of the outside world leads automatically to disinterest. The mind ceases to be interested or disturbed by external sounds etc. This leads automatically to stage 2.
Stage 2: awareness of spontaneous thought process This stage is concerned with the experiences, thoughts, memories, visions and emotions which arise from inside the mind. The purpose of this stage is to exhaust negative thoughts, complexes, phobias, etc. from the subconscious mind.
Stage 3: conscious creation of thoughts In this stage one has to create a thought or visualize a scene at will. After dwelling on the thought for some time it is consciously rejected as an object of perception. Then another thought is posed and again rejected after some time. This is repeated with numerous thoughts of any theme.
Stage 4: awareness and disposal of spontaneous thoughts In this stage one again becomes aware of the spontaneous eruption of thoughts, as in stage 2. However, one should choose prominent thoughts that arise and reflect on them for a short time. Then they should be exhausted at will. Again one should be aware of the spontaneous thought process and again choose a prominent thought.
Stage 5: thoughtlessness At this stage the mind should be reasonably calm and peaceful. Thoughts will still arise, but they will not be very strong or cause any great emotional upheaval. At this stage, it is therefore justified to suppress all thoughts completely. This should lead to a state of thoughtlessness.
Stage 6: psychic symbol awareness When you have attained the thoughtless state of stage 5 then the mind has to be molded so that it patterns itself into the form of a symbol. That is stage 6 - dharana (concentration on an inner psychic symbol).Hari AUM