Is Silence Really Golden?

Noble Silence

All students must observe Noble Silence from the beginning of the course until the morning of the last full day. Noble Silence means silence of body, speech, and mind. Any form of communication with fellow student, whether by gestures, sign language, written notes, etc., is prohibited.

(Source: https://www.dhamma.org/en/about/code)

 

How comfortable are you with silence?

One of the best gifts I have ever given myself is attending a 10-day silent meditation retreat in 2016.

I thought I already know what it means to be in silence, but only when I attended that retreat did I realize that I had not really been in silence before.

Turns out, even if I was silent on the outside, my mind is still very much active, chatty, wandering, and sometimes, very loud.

 

 

THE PRACTICE

Try to notice it for yourself.

Take a minute to just be still and observe what is going through your mind during this minute of stillness. Try not to engage with whatever comes up and try to just observe without judgment.

What have you observed? Was your mind very active or was it silent?

 

Now, try to take another minute to be still but this time, close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Whenever your mind wanders to other thoughts, just bring your attention back to your breathing.

How was that experience for you? Was it easy for you to not engage with your thoughts and just go back to focusing on your breathing?

 

Now imagine doing these exercises all day, for 10 whole days!

How do you think will you fare?

 

What you did is just a taste of what happened during that 10-day silent meditation retreat.

Not everyone is ready to be in this kind of stillness and silence. And that’s totally okay.

But I do want to invite you to try incorporating this practice in your daily life.

You may start doing this for only one minute per day. And then increase as you feel comfortable to do so.

 

THE GIFTS

Making time for stillness and silence would help you to become more present in the moment.

Often, we are consumed by thoughts of the past and thoughts of the future.

Neither are in the here and now and so we put ourselves in unnecessary stress and suffering.

 

We become victims of our circumstances.

We imprison our minds to the mistakes of the past and the worry of the future.

We fail to recognize the many blessings that we are receiving moment to moment.

We fail to see the beauty of Life all around us.

We fail to expand and open ourselves to our true essence: as channels and embodiment of joy, peace, love, light, greatness, freedom, and abundance.

Whenever we keep on focusing on what cannot be changed and on what has yet to come, we are giving up our power to be a co-creator of our lives. 

 

This is also a good tool to help you rise above your emotions.

Often, we allow our emotions to get the better of us.

Whenever we are faced with something unpleasant, we react based on what we are feeling at the moment.

Left uncheck, this could entail saying and doing something negative, hurtful, and unmindful of how our reactions would affect others, even our future selves.

Sometimes, we even end up regretting our actions and beating up ourselves for what we said and did.

And so, we go on a downward spiral of thoughts-feelings-actions, and we become a contributor to the ripple of negativity in this world.

Whenever we allow ourselves to be a slave of our emotions, we are giving up our power to be a co-creator of our lives.

 

YOUR ONE-MINUTE GIFT

Even for just one minute a day, give yourself the gift of space that is free of stress and suffering.

Even for just one minute a day, remind yourself of your innate power to co-create and design your life’s destiny.

Even for just one minute a day, be in awe of the beauty and goodness within and all around you.

Start with just one minute of silence every day and see the many gifts that this simple practice could bring into your life.

 

Peace, Love, and Light!

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