The Power of Silence

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“In Silence there is eloquence. Stop weaving and see how the pattern improves.” ― Rumi


Isn’t it interesting how SILENT and LISTEN have the same letters in it?

Still feeling zenned out  (yes, that is a word!) following  a retreat in Byron Bay, this is a particularly apt time to reflect on the beauty and power of Silence.

In today’s hectic world, it is more important than ever to create time and space for ourselves. We are not meant to be puppets of routine. We are human beings, not just human doings.  It’s important to take a step back, become an observer, get a fresh perspective and obtain clarity. Like anything, if it’s scheduled in, its likely to get done; otherwise it’s a case of “I don’t have time” and “I’m too busy”.   And if your “too tired”, even more reason to do this!

As it becomes a habit, it seeps into the unconscious and you’ll find it becomes a natural and very necessary  part of the day.   We take breaks for beverages and have a little stretch here and there, but it is just as important to give the mind and the brain little breaks  during the day. Silence is like fuel for the mind. Where there is oxygen, there is life.

As Amir in the “Kite Runner” says, “Quiet is peace. Tranquility. Quiet is turning down the volume knob on life. Silence is pushing the off button. Shutting it down. All of it”. It is also in Silence that we can listen and tune into Universal energy. As they say, Prayer is you talking to God; Intuition is God talking to you. The hustle and bustle of everyday life can drown this all out; it is in moments of Silence that we can connect with something far greater than us. Listen to the sound of your soul.

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”  – Albert Einstein

The benefits of Silence are many- they include increased energy, happiness, strengthened immune system, reduced blood pressure, reduced stress, hormonal regulation and reduced pain. Silence heals. It  also breeds creativity– important for us all, not just the writers and artists. Initially there may be a lot of thoughts and self talk (“monkey mind”) -that’s fine, accept it, let it be, let them go in one way and out the other, watch them float across the mind – it’ll get easier with time. Be patient.

So what are some simple practical strategies?  Silence can be experienced and incorporated into the day in various ways. For example:

    1. As part of a daily meditation such as focusing on the inward and outward breath, focusing on a flower or candle flame. Meditation is a great way to start and end the day- as discussed in a previous blog, there are many ways to meditate, be it listening to a guided meditation, a walking meditation, relaxing music or just being in silence. Do what works for you, what you resonate with, what feels comfortable. Start with 5 minutes and see how you feel.
    2. During work, take just a minute to take some deep breaths. Do this as often as you like, even every hour- it only takes a minute and it won’t disrupt your schedule.
    3. In Nature, just be. In the bush, wander at the majesty of the century –old trees around you, listen to the hustling of the trees in the wind and the chirping birds, watch the sun rays as they seep through the branches. At the beach, sit in silence and watch the waves crash and be in absolute awe of the beauty and power of the ocean. Mother Nature. Lie back and observe the clouds sailing across the cerulean sky. On a clear night, lay back and marvel at the stars. Look out for shooting stars. Feel the magnificence. And know that you are in the Universe- just as the Universe is in you. Feel your magnificence. We are made from the stars. I love this quote by Wayne Dyer: “every thought across your mind is the same energy that moves the stars across the sky
    4. Enjoy your meal in Silence, not with the TV on or other chaotic sounds. Not only will this aid digestion but will enhance the meal and appreciation of it.
    5. Try Yoga Nidra– a deeply relaxing lying down meditation and there has also been much positive research on its value.
    6. Go to a place of worship and feel the positive vibrational energy.  This could be any type of temple or simply a place you feel is a sanctuary- be it sitting by a river or bathing in a forest.
    7. Go for a silent walk in nature. Appreciate and be mindful of each step you take, respecting the beauty of your surroundings. Listen to the crunching of the leaves as you gently walk and feel the warmth and power of the Sun on your body.  All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking” – Friedrich Nietzsche

“Silence is a source of Great Strength.” ― Lao Tzu