I find that the practice of silence is often the most effective antidote to my most rigid and persistent patterns -- patterns that result from the stress of coping with the world around me (and the people in it.) Practicing silence gives me an opportunity for my patterns to relax and for me to become more centered, grounded, and balanced -- more my true self.
Whether for 3 minutes, 30 minutes, 3 hours or 3 days....
Silence is revelatory, relaxing, and healing. Over time, silence becomes the universal antidote to whatever ails you and threatens to keep you from feeling whole, perfect, and complete.
Silence is essential if you truly want to know yourself.
Silence is golden.
"I've begun to realize that you can listen to silence and learn from it. It has a quality and a dimension all its own."--Chaim Potok, The Chosen
"It seems only the old are able to sit next to one another and not say anything and still feel content. The young, brash and impatient, must always break the silence. It is a waste, for silence is pure. Silence is holy. It draws people together because only those who are comfortable with each other can sit without speaking. This is the great paradox." Nicholas Sparks. The Notebook.
"The quieter you become, the more you can hear." Baba Ram Das
"Have you ever heard the wonderful silence just before the dawn? Or the quiet and calm just as a storm ends? Or perhaps you know the silence when you haven't the answer to a question you've been asked, or the hush of a country road at night, or the expectant pause of a room full of people when someone is just about to speak, or, most beautiful of all, the moment after the door closes and you're alone in the whole house? Each one is different, you know, and all very beautiful if you listen carefully." Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth.
What happens in silence?
Sometimes when you sit in silence you become aware of so many thoughts, images, emotions, or body sensations that you become overwhelmed by all the "noise." Good! That means that some of the backlog you've been accumulating is about to be reduced and become more manageable.
Sometimes when you sit in silence, the sense of peace and tranquility is so exquisite that you yearn to have more and more of it in your life. Good! Now you know what it is like to be totally relaxed.
Sometimes when you sit in silence you experience what may be called a "sacred surprise." Good! Now you know that deep within yourself there is a treasure chest of resources that you can tap into at any time.
Interested? Even if you sense only a slight spark of interest, that's enough to get you started and to experience the benefits of silence.
Stillness practices and periods of silence are included in our monthlyMany Ways to Meditateworkshop.