The Art of Silence - A Silent Meditation
Cornerstones of BEcoming silent
by StarStuffsSeptember 2004
"There are times when silence has the loudest voice."
The exercises can be done any time during the day or night. Beginning in the morning before starting your workday and ending the day or upon retiring. Sunrise and sunsets are wonderful times to be silent. It doesn't matter when you do, but that you do and are mindful of it.
For practice listening to the silence within follow these simple steps.
Take some deep cleansing breaths and notice your inhalations and exhalations. Take note of your jaw and pressure on your teeth. Notice sensations within your body and outside your body. It may help to do a checklist working up or down the body. This helps focus attention at the moment. When you're relaxed merely observe your thoughts.
Where is your attention?
What is your mind saying to you?
Just listen, only listen, do not respond, only observe.
The purpose of being silent is to not "interact with" the thoughts, but allow them to pass through you. Thoughts are tangible things so it may take practice and time to not cling to the thoughts you have. Gently and silently be with your loving self.
Treat the thoughts as if they are water and let them flow past you with you ease like a fast flowing river where no "debris" can get caught in the eddies and on rocks. Let them simply flow over, through and around you.
Three to five minutes is a good start to practice this exercise in silence and mindfulness.
Interaction with Others:
It's good communication policy to listen to others but one needs to listen to the self as well. Try to listen inside what you want to say before saying it. It is good practice to listen to your self at work, home or school or anywhere else. To start out, you may only want to observe your feelings, emotions your interactions with others. Just watch yourself and be mindful of what you do and what you think. Observe, observe, observe. Do this for 10 minutes each day and work up from there.
Once you have observed and your awareness has taken on a new direction. It is time to apply it to your everyday interactions. Try to listen and hear for your best responses and answers throughout the day. Be mindful of your thoughts and feelings and process them before sharing with others. Convey only what you feel will benefit all communicators. This becomes a "Walking Meditation".
The "awareness to your breath" practice is a powerful mindful exercise. In Buddhism it is a practice of being in the moment and the way to be "in the moment" is through the breath. The breath is important for revitalizing chi, ki, and overall well being. It aids in shifting awareness along with calming and centering properties. When you are in the relaxed state take repeated deep breaths:
Be aware of your incoming breath filling and expanding your lungs.
Upon exhaling, feel and hear the breath leave your lungs.
Notice the feeling in your mouth, nose, throat and body.
Just listen, and feel, do not respond, only observe your breath.
"Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts."
Thich Nhat Hanh
Breathing calms and centers your attention. It slows down your thoughts to a point of focus. In the silence it allows you to become a watcher of your own thoughts. The mind is training to step aside the normal thought process and allow the chatter to slow down. There is a realization how much mind energy is nonproductive due to the empty spaces we try to fill. There is an important shift in knowing what is important and mentally comfortable and what isn't.
Listening and hearing are perfectly paired techniques for Becoming silent. If you practice hearing yourself and your mind in a silent meditational moment or throughout the day then you are more aware of the cues for attention outside oneself.
When the mind is silent and we dwell in the open spaces of our minds we can hear Spirit's voice. To practice silence and awareness in our daily lives we need to train and monitor ourselves.
Side effects are: smiling without a reason, remaining calm and composed in chaotic situations, ability to communicate to the point and most of all peace and contentment.
Love and Light,
writing ammended August 2005