Silence. Pause, breathe, sit still and embrace the silence. This may be for many of us one of the most difficult assets to attain in our chaotic, fast past and highly stimulated and stimulating world. We add to this noise at home. TV’s on constantly, even as background noise, chatter is persistent, phones always within arms-reach to invite distraction, or the music is unrelenting…and loud!
Initially I found it difficult. There was more fear dealing with ‘self’ than I imagined; the silence invited into the foreground current stressors, the unaddressed life issues, the mental strain and the rapidity of thought processes beating against my brain.
I resorted to contemplative practices to focus and centre myself, like drawing my attention to art symbols in the Church, like Jesus on the cross and the large stones that settled around its base, and chanted a repeated word pattern in my mind to draw it back from its constant wanderings. Persistence at this practice sought and found peace.
My high blood pressure was lowered, and my anxiety and stress dissipated with the wind. My mind was recharged, brain activity more ordered, focused and positive and I experienced more rest than I had for a long time. I began to realise the innumerable and well-researched health benefits of embracing silence, a practice common to Christians, Buddhists, Hindus and others for over a millennia. If you don’t have this, get it!
These steps may help,
1) Make the important decision to embrace the silence
2) Find or create a space where there’s little or no distraction
3) Use visuals that have important and positive symbolic meaning to you, like wild life, water, artwork, religious icons and other things
4) Prepare your heart to receive and process thoughts that flow freely into your mind
5) Enable sufficient time to receive the benefits, and,
6) Make it regular.
With practice I’ve found out that we can make a shift from not simply wanting this, but needing it!