The Gift of Silence


When was the last time you gave yourself the gift of silence? No radio or television, no traffic noise, no talking, just total quiet. This may be easier to accomplish if you live out in the country, yet many who have silence around them do not truly notice it. If we sit in silence, and can quiet the chatter of our minds, it is possible to go more deeply into ourselves.

Silence allows us to become like a still pond into which you can see deeply, and at the same time it offers a very clear reflection. It can be very healing to breathe deeply and allow the silence to envelope us. Imagine that the silence can melt away any stress or tension, in the same way that the rays of the sun can warm our bodies. In our busy lives, our senses are constantly bombarded by stimuli, be it from the media, family members or a ringing telephone.

Often our attention shifts rapidly from one thing to the next, or we are trying to follow several trains of thought simultaneously. Our circuits become overloaded, and automatically respond to the most demanding stimulus at the moment, much like a taxi driver who gives up control over where his taxi is going. That might be fine for a while, but if he never turned his radio off, he might never get to go home. There is a place within each of us that is our home. It might be called our center, our essence, or our spiritual nature.

It is important to go home regularly, or we lose touch with who we are. For some, this may seem like a strange concept, for there are many who have been operating on automatic for so long, that it feels weird to be alone with self. However, as the pace of life continues to speed up, it is more important than ever for each of us to be centered and balanced within ourselves. The peaceful energy that flows from that state affects the whole.

If there is a long lineup at the express checkout and the cashier is slow, you can feel the tension building. But if there is one person in the lineup who is really at peace, that can change the energy of the whole group. Sometimes you can even calm a fussy baby in such a lineup by simply centering yourself, and sending love to that child. Try giving yourself some silent time before the children come home, or as you drive home from work, and notice the difference that can make in the way that you respond to family members.

Take some silent time at noon, and notice what a difference it makes in your afternoon at work or school. If you do some deep breathing while you are appreciating the silence, you will enhance the effects of this practice. And if you make this a regular part of your life, you will be nurturing both body and soul.

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