I’ve been thinking a lot about silence recently, especially silence of the mind, and how to make it practical.
Silence retreats are great—time for reflection and change. But I want to be able to experience this even when I can’t take time off and escape day-to-day life
I had a spark of inspiration when my friend told me about his sugar-free diet and how he was finding ways to weave this seamlessly into his everyday life like cutting out alcohol and opting for a soda water with lime.
So if we can do this with physical diets, why not apply this to practising silence in our everyday life? Instead of trying to ‘detox’ the body, let’s focus on ‘detoxing’ the mind.
So I came up with something that I call “practical silence”.
Externally, I was in silence where practically possible, only coming into sound when necessary, at work and at home. Effectively I was simply just reducing how much I got caught up in conversations!
By withdrawing from the expansion that I go into in my conversations, my mind wasn’t drawn so much in external things, helping me to keep it clear, clean and focused. Yet I was still able to do everything I would usually do in my day without withdrawing from the people and situations around me.
The main focus here is the quality of the silence in my mind. This isn’t “not thinking”, but rather slowing down my thoughts, taking care not to become entangled in anything but instead focusing on stabilising myself as a being of peace and light.
Physical silence (not speaking) is one thing, but it can sometimes feel forced and somewhat unnatural if it’s not coming from the right place, the heart space.
This type of silence is something really to be enjoyed; first fill yourself with love and peace through meditation (try this on the Meditate Now section of this website). The experience will then feel authentic and come from the heart, and it becomes easy and natural.
People often ask how it’s possible to fit in meditation while they work, study or whatever our crazy lives involve. So let me share the secret with you: enthusiasm.
Where there is the enthusiasm, whatever you have enthusiasm for will happen so naturally and easily! What might seem “not possible” will just fall into place.
So start by finding things that inspire you—whether it’s reading a book on spirituality or visiting a BK centre near you for some classes. Take some inspirational points from this to keep yourself enthusiastic and fresh and give “practical silence” a go—even just one day to start with—and enjoy.
© 2017, Lauren B. (Queensland)