Updated: Feb 14, 2020
This past week-end I attended a four day silent retreat which was very lovely. Being with others in silence is special. You don't have to worry about "making conversation" or replying to someone's comment or just having your own silence interrupted. It is quite lovely. It didn't hurt that the grounds of the retreat center were beautifully maintained, they had wonderful food and there were ample places to walk, read, write, and make art. But I realize this is a luxury that most of us don't have very often.
I think that most of us both long for silence and we are afraid of it on some level. I myself do not find that I am plagued with "monsters" or "bad thoughts" -- but I know that some people do find that to be the case. In any case, I do know that I find it difficult to create and maintain even small spaces of silence for myself in my daily life. That's not as easy to find as going away to a retreat center!
So I am going to suggest some small ways that we could all work on inserting a bit more silence into our crowded lives! Making for ourselves "mini retreats" in the midst of everyday life. You could pick something you do regularly; wash your hands, go up or down stairs, drink a glass of water, enter or exit a room. Then, consider taking a small sip of silence each time you do that during the course of a day. Sort of like taking a "breath break" a few times during the day. Or, you might just take 2 minute "sips" during the day -- when you get out of the shower, after you make your bed, while the coffee brews. Two full minutes of breathing and noticing that you are breathing. These little breaks are something like hitting the reset button on your day. Especially if you notice yourself getting into a snit -- time to sip some silence. Writer, Gunilla Norris has written that this is a sort of "snailing your way" towards meditation.
In any case, cultivating a peaceful heart is the journey of a lifetime and this would b e one way to start that journey. Sending you peace!!
by Martha Postlewaite Do not try to save the whole world or do anything grandiose. Instead, create a clearing in the dense forest of your life and wait there patiently, until the song that is your life falls into your own cupped hands and you recognize and greet it. Only then will you know how to give yourself to this world so worthy of rescue.