January 19, 2023: Silence Part 3
Today, I share my final thoughts about silence, and what I have learned about the practice of silence.
First, silence is not a total absence of noise like many definitions offer. Our world is full of noise both external and internal. Perhaps a soundproof room would offer us an escape from the external noises in our lives, like the birds chirping outside or rain drops against our windows. However, even in a soundproof room, the internal noises remain, like the growling of our stomachs or the ringing in our ears.
Secondly, and most importantly, silence is an experience. Silence is about listening. Silence is about discovering unanswered questions. Silence is about hearing what we have missed, the answers already within us. Those answers we receive when we stop to listen.
Madelyn Blair Ph.D. writes in a Psychology Today blog, “Is Silence Silent?”
“Silence is the space where we retreat when we need time.
Silence is where we allow our minds to consider possibilities, where we integrate the new into the old, where we give credence to our feelings.”
Finally, I offer a few tips from another blog in Psychology Today, “Harness the Power of Silence in 5 Easy Steps” authored by Chloe Carmichael Ph.D., she suggests intentional and compassionate silence is time you hold, or you will hold for yourself, to be intentionally quiet. Don’t you love the idea of intentional and compassionate silence? She offers guidelines for defining a period of silence which I have edited to best represent my practice of silence..
Be intentional: Intentional and compassionate silence is just that: intentional. This allotted time should not be a time when you happen to be quiet but when you choose to be quiet.
Have a game plan: Define how long your intentional quiet will last: 10 minutes, 10 hours, or sometime in between?
Define rules: Establish what rules you will follow. For example; Will you sit quietly or allow yourself to move about?
Enjoy yourself: How will you use this silent time? Journaling, watching TV, or practicing mindfulness are all great ways to spend intentional silence, so choose to spend this time how you want to!
I encourage you to try and build a little silence into your life every day. I’ll leave you with this quote from Deepak Chopra,
“There is no substitute for the creative inspiration, knowledge, and stability
that comes from knowing how to contact your core of inner silence.”