The other morning, I was sitting in silence as part of my morning practice, proposed by Hal Elrod in this book, The Miracle Morning.
I was alone in my home, sitting in my comfy chair and wrapped in my soft warm blanket. I was experiencing silence, or was I? I suddenly realized even though I sat quietly with no TV or music playing, I was not sitting in silence.
Deep from the recesses of my thoughts, I remember being told once if I sat quietly, I would hear at least five different sounds. Challenge on! This is what I heard first, the ringing in my left ear, followed by the inspiration and expiration of my breath. Then, I began to hear the voice playing inside my head asking, “What else can you hear?” Next came the gurgling of my stomach. These four sounds came just from me while I sat quietly. Then, I noticed a deep rumbling sound of a truck outside and the creaking inside my house, and finally the wind blowing outside. This was silence?
At the end of my prescribed time of silence, I started down a ‘rabbit hole,’ asking myself, “What silence is and where do we find it?” as well as, “What is the difference between silence and quiet?”
Mirriam Webster provided three definitions of silence as a noun: 1) as in stillness, incapacity for or restraint from speaking; 2) as in quiet, the absence of sound or noise, and 3) as in oblivion, the quality or state of being mostly or completely unknown. It is the first two definitions offered that was most concerning to me.
In my state of silence, I was indeed experiencing stillness, however I certainly was not experiencing the absence of sound or noise. Which now begged me to look at the difference between silence and quiet. But, I digress, let's leave quiet out of this conversation.
Over the next few days, I will be sharing what I learned about silence. Who knows when one goes in search of silence what they hear and find.