“Silence has a music of its own. It is not dead, it is very much alive, it is tremendously alive.
In fact, nothing is more alive than silence.”
I’m going to let you in on a little secret.
If you’re interested in cultivating peace and ease in your life, if you’re looking for clarity beyond your conditioned mindsets, then you will need to have a friendly relationship with silence.
Many of us live our daily lives in the habit of thinking. We’re in our heads analyzing, planning, fretting, and trying to figure out how to be happy. We frantically move from one thing to another without resting.
We are firmly living the mind-driven life, stuck in a whole lot of mental noise.
But if you want to make a shift in your level of consciousness, the only way to do it is to know inner silence.
A few months ago, I was standing at the entrance to a street market in New Delhi, India that I wanted to visit. As with most streets in the cities in India, it was absolutely flooded with people, wall to wall. My first thought was overwhelm, “How am I going to do this?” Then silence took over.
My attention shifted from the crowds of people and opened into what I could only call a vast field of silence. It was as if I was gliding forward, fully immersed in my surroundings, and completely still at the same time.
Your life becomes more sane when silence is your go-to place. It’s an anchor that lets you reset when you’re caught up in stressful thinking. It’s the secret to finding clarity when you react with frustration and resistance.
When do I turn toward silence?
- When I’m awake at night trying to sleep;
- When I’m going back and forth trying to choose;
- When I’m bored;
- When I’m in a story that makes me feel anything—sad, lonely, afraid, angry, or lost.
I turn away from the objects that bring about suffering and turn toward the silence within like a homecoming.
The momentum of suffering recedes, and there’s spaciousness, presence, and a fresh perspective on everything.
To be honest, I don’t know how to let go of old patterns without having a strong relationship with silence.
How can you cultivate silence? We commonly call the practice meditation. Take a few moments to sit quietly.
- Focus first on your breath;
- Be the observing presence that notices the thoughts and emotions that appear;
- Then notice how this observing presence is silent—simply here, vast and open, with whatever wants to pass through.
- Rest here.
Stay with it for maybe 10 minutes a day to start, then increase the time little by little. Most importantly, begin to rely on silence as a touchstone as you go through your day.
Becoming familiar with inner silence potentially shifts your conditioned patterns. You’re more present with people, you don’t need to fill up space with words, you get to choose rather than being driven by forces outside your control.
Become devoted to silence in your life, and see what unfolds…