Over the years as I searched for a deeper meaning and purpose in my life I kept coming across teachers that would point me towards silence. When I first began meditation the thought of being still and silent was difficult because I had never done this before. When had I ever stopped and just consciously been still with myself? I can tell you never. It took a tragedy in this life for me to come to that place. As I began to sit and be still with my thoughts, my mind would race, thought after thought , but eventually I settled and became the observer of my thoughts. It was then I noticed that thoughts were coming and going in this silence and eventually there was no thought, just this magical space of stillness.
What is the meaning of silence? Webster’s dictionary describes it as “the absence of any sound or noise; stillness.”
I wanted to know more about this stillness and began attending silent or weekend retreats over several years with various teachers such as Gangaji, Adyashaniti, Muni or Pamela Wilson to investigate the depth of awareness and the gift of silence. If you have never attended a silent retreat I highly encourage you to do so. These amazing teachers have the ability from their own experience to point you to the silence that is always present. You see, I was of the belief that being silent was boring and that nothing happens in silence, but in reality it’s quite the contrary.
Most people are reluctant to enter silence for long periods of time, or for any period of time for that matter. I’ve actually had conversations with people who tell me they are scared of being silent and would do anything not to arrive at that place. And why might that be? Perhaps there is the true knowing that when we enter into silence, we enter into a place where there is nowhere to go but to meet ourselves. We are so conditioned to the external stimulation of voices, television, radio, our mobile phones and thoughts of what we should be doing, that we rarely experience ourseleves in a state of silence. But when we eventually enter into silence with awareness, we enter into a place where we are meeting ourselves at a deeper level.
I love silence and it doesn’t mean that I have to be by myself to enter into it. As human beings, many of us are not comfortable when a conversation lags and silence enters, there is a natural tendency to move towards speaking to fill the gap, but if you allow silence to be present in your exchange with another, you will notice that it can have a very powerful effect in the absence of conversation.
When we intentionally enter into silence we get to be with ourselves without any external influence and it helps provide perspective on the true simplicity of life. Let me warn you though, the more you do this, the more you will want to hang out with your ‘self’ – what a concept! Notice how nature is always in silence, the trees, the mountains, the ocean, the flowers, the sun, the moon, they all exist in silence, take a look at their beauty. I would like to suggest you take one day and commit to ‘being’ in silence and take a walk out in nature and see for yourself, pay attention to the stillness . If you’re in a relationship ask your partner to enter into silence with you for a day and become aware of you both notice without using the mind and words to communicate with each other. Let your communication take place in the silence. It truly is a beautiful way to be.
Adyashanti says “There is a great space in which this moment takes place. There is a great silence that is listening to the thoughts”. May you discover the gift of silence this holiday season and may you live your life in love always.
Honour your spirit and walk towards the journey your heart desires.
Lorraine Wilson has been on a journey of self discovery for many years. She openly shares her experience with others and offers hope, inspiration and an invitation to “Keep Life Simple” through self inquiry. She lives on the West Coast with her children.
Lorraine has been influenced and is incredibly grateful for the teachings of Gangaji, Adyashanti, Eckart Tolle, Pamela Wilson, Muni and His Holiness, The Dalai Lama. She has worked in the field of communications and broadcasting for over 30 years and utilizes her communication skills as a program facilitator and provides one on one support to others who desire to investigate their life journey.
Stayed tuned for ‘Keeping Life Simple’ on VividLife Radio. The program will be an opportunity for everyone in the community to come together to discuss and be supported in the never ending discovery of who we truly are.