Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sounds of Silence

I find the protests of people who don’t practice relaxation, meditation or any other similar activity interesting. I CAN’T JUST SIT AND BREATHE, they say. I have to be DOING something, they say. This often comes from people who complain of a lot of worry and anxiety. I’m here to say that mastering silence is something worth practicing. There are many benefits of silence, evidence of which comes (loosely) from the relaxation and meditation research. Benefits include:

Thinking. A chattering mind interferes with clear thought. Intuition speaks to us out of our silence. As a result, silence allows for creative thought.

Communicating. Silence allows us to listen to ourselves and others. In listening better we become better communicators. Discomfort with silence leads to idle chatter. Comfort with silence allows us to speak only what is important. Intimacy requires few words.

Being. Silence allows us to just be instead of always having to do. Silence allows us to let go of unfinished business. As in sleep, in silence we are able to work things out and let go. Silence is energizing in its ability to renew, while also reducing anxiety.

Experiment with a little silence. Try: silent meals (no radio, phone, tv, talk), silent work (no radio, phone, etc.), silent workouts (no…noise). See how it goes. You might find it as addictive as talk.

Hello darkness my old friend, I’ve come to talk with you again. Sounds of Silence, Simon & Garfunkel.

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