When Jose Silva, married and the father of three children, was drafted to war, a psychologist caught his attention there, and he was intrigued by the questions this man asked others, which in his opinion were utter crass and made no sense. Do you wet your bed? Do you like women? He wondered, being a Lieutenant Colonel, the salary that man earned for asking these questions. Jose Silva turned the table around and asked the psychologist a question himself, “What got you interested in this field?” The psychologist gave him a little pocket sized book which was titled, “The History of Psychiatry”. This is where Jose Silva first entered the beautiful and enchanting world of the mind and this is where he sowed the seeds of one of the greatest modern psychological theories of mind control and relaxation, “The Silva Method.”
What is the Silva Method?
The Silva Method is many things, but fundamentally, it is a method of exercises that train us to help gain better control of one’s own mind and the workings of it, be it to trigger a state of creativity or a state of relaxation. It is believed that a mind out of its owner’s control is destructive at best, so in order to be constructive and creative, we must discipline our mind. It is a series of mental gymnastics that helps build the faculty of visualization and imagination, so the act of controlling one’s own mind becomes the foundation of mental development. When we begin to teach our minds and when the mind begins to learn, there is an automatic surge of development taking place in our minds. It is synonymous with brain plasticity, the ability of the brain to keep evolving and changing. Take reading as an example. To name just five changes that occur in the brain, we have the temporal cortex experiencing better connectivity, grounded cognition abilities heighten, the amygdala, hippocampus, cerebellum and the prefrontal cortex start to enhance our retention and recalling power, our attention span increases significantly, and basically, the brain rewires itself entirely! Just by training our mind to sit in one place and read absolutely anything that can enrich and stimulate your brain. Let’s see the keywords present here, shall we? “Training”, “mind”, “enrich” and “stimulate”. You have your answer there, my friend. This method is all about digging deep into your mind to activate and utilize tools of the Alpha, Beta, and Delta brain frequencies, tools that will change your life forever, from intuition, to natural healing, visualizing your goals, to seeing the path that moves you towards your destination and even relaxation.
One of the 10 million users of this method, Vishen Lakhiani, a motivational speaker, entrepreneur, author and the Founder and CEO of Mindvalley, found this book as a child on his father’s shelf. “This book opened me up to a whole different world of learning. It opened me up to, what scientists call, accessing altered states of consciousness.” Lakhiani’s very first triumph brought by the Silva Method was the healing of his skin, which he claimed was so bad that “my mother took me to dermatologists just for my skin,”. Jose Silva had already mentioned in his book, “The Silva Mind Control Method” that the skin is the first physiological factor that experiences initial change after the practice of this method, and lo and behold, Lakhiani cured a skin disease, that he had been suffering from for 5 years, in 5 weeks!
Three seems to be a very important factor in the philosophy of this method. The Silva Method talks about a Three Fingers Technique that, after enough training, helps people activate their creative side just by touching one’s own fingertips. The index and middle fingers are brought closer to the thumb and the tips of all three are joined together gingerly in a gentle mudra. The method teaches you ways in which this very mudra can trigger the production of Alpha wave frequencies, helping you channel creativity by merely posing your hand a certain way. Not only this, but the Silva Method has a 3–2–1 Technique designed specifically to relax your mind enough to trigger Alpha and Theta waves to achieve higher cognition, creativity and healing.
Step 1: Assume a comfortable seating position. Please make sure to maintain your posture.
Step 2: Close your eyes.
Step 3: Take a deep breath and as you exhale, behind the curtains on your eyes picture the number “3” three times.
Step 4: Take another deep breath, and during exhalation, imagine the number “2” three times.
Step 5: Inhale deeply and as you breathe out, see the number “1” stand out on the blackness behind your eyelids three times.
Step 6: At this point, you will have reached level 1 of relaxation of mind. Direct your attention to different parts of your body. Relax your scalp, your forehead, your eyes, your neck muscles, your shoulders, your chest, your abdominal area, your legs and lastly, your feet. You can give selective attention to each body part for however long it may take for it to entirely relax. At the end of this, you will find yourself physically calm. Upon enough practice, picturing the “3” will become your trigger to physically wind down.
Step 7: Now, visualize, and in your mind, repeat the number “2” several times. This will automatically trigger your brain into relaxing a level more to take you to level 2 of mental relaxation. Noises, instead of distracting you, will harbour your focus and calm. In addition to this, you can picture calming scenes within your mind. Personally, I play out certain parts from the music of my favourite song “Mystery of Love” by Sufjan Stevens since that song has always provided me with an unmatched sense of fulfillment and joy. You are free to do something similar.
Step 8: Now, we enter Level 3 of relaxation and mentally repeating and visualizing “1” will be the harbinger of it.
Step 9: Here, you can indulge in affirmations such as, “I shall utilize the powers of my mind and body to serve humanity’,” or “I am healthy, I am protected and I am safe,” or “My self worth is determined by me and no one else,” etc.
Step 10: Sit in some silence with yourself and enjoy this state of mind you are in. Relish it. Cherish it.
Step 11: Start an ascend from 1 to 5 .
Gain awareness of your mind.
Gain awareness of your body.
Gain awareness of your close surroundings, the sounds, the surface on which you sit, that which you touch, etc.
Reconnect your mind with your body. Make a gentle movement to ground yourself.
Finally, open your eyes.
To utilize this on a daily basis, multiple times a day, at any point of time, practice counting from a higher number and down to “1”. Make sure you picture each number and speak it in the voice of your mind clearly. This practice will help you relax absolutely anywhere so as to trigger the workings of a more efficient mind. The best time to practice this is during the morning when you wake up, or before you go to bed, or maybe even after lunch. Practicing it up to thrice a day for at least 15 minutes can help you heal and prevent certain physical ailments. Jose Silva has himself recorded a guided Silva experience which you can use in your initial Silva days (https://youtu.be/lutmDJtGKPw). In order to step out of this meditative focus, slowly count upwards from 1 to 5 and at “5”, open your eyes to a brighter, fulfilled and fresher you.