“Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing. And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb. And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.” ~ Khalil Gibran
Silence can be a tricky thing to handle. Imagine yourself stuck in a traffic jam in rush hour, the cacophony of horns doesn’t seem to bother you as you find yourself teleported on the top of a peaceful hill.
Have you stepped into the country side, for a couple of days and start to feel something seems amiss; you realise that you were actually more comfortable in the midst of the maddening noise. Initially, you feel bored and in some time silence gets to you – it becomes deafening.
To fill this void of silence, you turn to external stimulation like the TV, phone, Internet, social media, etc, but its not the external noise you miss, but perhaps its the inner chatter that has amplified and become more powerful when you are quiet or in a peaceful environment. It’s not the silence you’re uncomfortable with, but the voices coming from within. The urge to be surrounded by this external noise is only an escape from the inner turbulence.
Over the years, I’ve met several people who are not at ease in a quiet close-to-nature setting for a very long time. Its the mind that doesn’t allow you to immerse yourself in the stillness, instead it floods you with waves of negative thoughts, judgments, fear, jealousy and so on. The external commotion of our environment combined with the inner chatter of the mind leaves little room for us to truly experience silence.
We seldom anchor ourselves in the present moment long enough to listen and appreciate what silence brings.
Time to go Within
“Within you there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at anytime and be yourself.” ~ Hermann Hesse
Silence is the space that allows you to navigate within and open new doorways to places where your mind is frightened to enter. Silence is pure, much like the pureness of a child’s smile. If you immerse yourself fully, it gives you the power to silent the ego and refuel your mind. The beauty of silence is that it simply “is”.
When I was growing up, my mother use to keep following “vow of silence’ for a day, more as a religious practice. ‘Vow of Silence’ is a personal, voluntary oath to refrain from speaking. Butwhen you think of it such practices can be used as a time to introspect and understand ourselves better. Making friends with silence gives us the opportunity to make peace with that part of ourselves that feels separate, apart from the sacred presence within.
Silence is all around us, you just have to make an effort to tune into it. Fill your heart with the noise of silence, become aware of the pulsating energy flowing through your veins, let go of all that doesn’t serve you and you will find the spot where magic happens.
Silence is such a useful tool when you need to resolve issues, arguments, indifferences between people. After a heated argument it helps to remain silent; regain calm, composure and clarity in the mind.
How can you be friends with silence and make it a part of your daily life?
Making time for yourself is important and utilising that “off” time to connect with nature instead of encouraging your thinking mind to take control and drifting away with it. In the past four to five years, nature has played a crucial role in my life, from being an amazing teacher and a reliable doctor, I feel more attuned with the silence of nature.
Spending time regularly in nature, even if its for 30 mins a day, will clear your mind of negative thoughts and help you unburden and be aware of your insecurities and problems. Throw off those sandals and walk barefoot in a garden or on a beach. Watch the sunset. Tune into the sounds of nature, chirping birds, flowing water, and immerse in all its beauty. Dance, meditate, do yoga or any form of exercise that interests you, cook, sing your favorite song, grow plants or vegetables (even if its in a small pot).
These activities brings your mind back home, as you find yourself being more aware and submerged in the moment – this is experiencing silence. Silence and stillness work in tandem, taking us deeper into the realm of our true self.
Thich Nhat Hanh said,“It’s very important that we re-learn the art of resting and relaxing. Not only does it help prevent the onset of many illnesses that develop through chronic tension and worrying; it allows us to clear our minds, focus, and find creative solutions to problems.”
Slow down, enjoy the silence. You will become more aware of your thoughts and feelings, and not let it mess up with your mind. It is empowering and reveling in its companionship will liberate your innermost fears! “The pause – that impressive silence, that eloquent silence, that geometrically progressive silence which often achieves a desired effect where no combination of words, howsoever felicitous, could accomplish it.” ~ Mark Twain
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