Silence, above all, is my place of refuge.
The clarity and peace I find by giving my mind the space it needs to finally exhaust itself is profound.
Once I finally surrender, the silence begins to massage my insides and makes room for me to find more in everything.
All the religions practice periods of silence.. I think it’s vital for healthy navigation thru this life. Try it. For 5 minutes to start. Then 10. slow and steady. You’ll feel it… when you do, keep going.
Monastic silence is a spiritual practice recommended in a variety of religious traditions for purposes including facilitation of approaching deity, and achieving elevated states of spiritual purity. Silence has been practiced in every monastic tradition for centuries. It may be in accordance with a monk’s formal vow of silence, but can also engage who have not taken vows, or novices who are preparing to take vows. Monastic silence is more highly developed in the Roman Catholic faith than in Protestantism, but it is not limited to Catholicism. The practice has a corresponding manifestation in the Orthodox church, which teaches that silence is a means to access the deity, to develop self-knowledge, or to live more harmonious. Theophilus, patriarch of Alexandria, placed the virtue of silence on par with the faith itself in a synodal letter from AD 400. “Monks—if they wish to be what they are called—will love silence and the Catholic faith, for nothing at all is more important than these two things.”
I’ve spent a lot of time silent. Many people I talk about it with are totally freaked out. They always say they could never do it. I didn’t start with any big span.. an hour is a huge accomplishment at first.
Now, I can dive in for days… because the results are overwhelming.
“Listening takes place not just through the ears, but with all the senses. Sometimes the best way to prepare ourselves to hear in a new and better way is to be still and silent. When we quiet our motor minds — and our motor mouths — we find that we are better able to open our hearts. The ancient practice of Noble Silence helps us begin the process of hearing in a new way; this is a timeless and wise practice that helps us be more sensitive and perceptive.
“Noble Silence traditionally begins with a vow to keep silent for a specific period of time. It can be an hour, a day, a week, or a month. There are practitioners who have kept Noble Silence for years. There is even a practice of lifetime silence in India called ‘maun.’ The famous master Meher Baba was a mauni baba, a silent holy man. He used a small blackboard to spell out his succinct messages, like ‘Don’t worry, be happy,’ long before the reggae song was written.
“If you want to try a period of Noble Silence, remember that it is a rest for all of the senses. Turn off the radio, the phone, the television. Enjoy a fast from the news. Turn off the thoughts in your head. Stay quiet. Take refuge in the inner calm and peace of the quiet mind. Don’t write, don’t read, don’t surf the Net. Keep still. Listen to the sounds around you. What do you hear? What do you see? Open your eyes, open your ears, open your heart. Think of the ancient Christian exercise. Be still. Listen to the inner voice, and know God. This is how we learn to cultivate higher levels of hearing, perception, and vision.
” ‘For someone deeply trapped in a prison of thought, how good it can feel to meet a mind that hears, a heart that reassures. It’s as if a listening mind is, in and of itself, an invitation to another mind to listen too. How much it can mean when we accept the invitation and hear the world anew.’
“From How Can I Help by Ram Dass and Paul Gorman.
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