The benefits of silence

When I mention to people about my time in silent meditation retreats, its quite interesting to watch the responses of some. A face of confusion and shock when I say that I didn’t talk for 10 days literally puts the fear in them! But I LOVE to have silent time, and it is much much easier than you think to relax into the space of quiet time. In fact for me, silent time has opened up space for massive release through reflection resulting in personal transformation. When I have talked again, I have appreciated each and every word I have spoken and made it sacred.

Silence doesn’t have to be in 10 day blocks or months on end; it can be as simple as a few minutes sprinkled into your day. Some time for reflection, appreciation or just simply being is enough to come back to your centre and let go of some of the external distractions of busy day to day life. A lot of the time we feel we have to fill every second of the day with something; it is common for people to need to put the radio or TV on in the background to keep them company or simply avoid being with their own thoughts. If you ever sit in a cafe or on public transport and listen to other peoples conversations, you may notice that most of what we talk about is inconsequential and completely unnecessary. And, more often than not, it is quite negative. Going on the premise that we create our own reality with thoughts, words and actions; this means that if we spend most of our day conversing about negative thoughts and experiences then this is what we create more of in our lives. In our time spent chatting and filling up every second with distraction of sound, we miss the pure beauty of life drifting past around us. The sound of the birds, the breeze through the trees or the distant sound of the ocean. The sweetness silence of any moment can be truly potent with new opportunity.

Without silent space, we also miss out on that vital time to reflect on how we are feeling moment to moment. The reality is that with the fast paced nature of life and all the distractions of commitments, technology and responsibilities, we miss out on that essential time of coming back to our centre and checking in with self.

It is in this process of checking in that we have an opportunity to respond with kindness and let go or unpack any residue of emotion or mental block that we have acquired through the experience of recent life. We take life experiences on and keep squashing them into the shopping bag of our mental and emotional capacity and then wonder why eventually we become stressed, impatient and intolerant to every day trivial experiences. This is an accumulation of unresolved energy. We lodge it there in our energetic field when we ‘hold our tongue’ or the suck in and hold the breath, or mutter under the breath in agitation, frustration or something else. The blockages could seem totally insignificant such as your partner not loading the dishwasher or someone pulling out in front of you when driving; or it perhaps something more emotionally charging such as a traumatic experience, money troubles or the stress of moving house. Unless we stop to allow space and time for reflection and our minds to process the situation, we won’t create space for the emotion to release and stuck energy to dissolve. Its in this reflection time that we can gain learning from the situation and its the wisdom that releases that karmic bind of needing to re-experience that same situation again in the future. Unstuck emotion or energy is a drain on our energy, it will zap our life force and eventually manifest as dis-ease.

Carving out time for silence is essential. When we come back to centre and release the bind of that which is draining our energy, we can feel more connected, more patient, more compassionate and understanding with ourselves and others. We have more time to listen to our loved ones and to enjoy the sheer beauty of life around us every moment.

To start a practice of silence, you could set an alarm at intervals in the day and just take 10 mindful breaths to create that space. If you can, maybe find a local group or take time out at home where you can switch your phone off and just be in silence for the day. You may think its harder in a group, but its actually very supportive as everyone is holding the space for each other. Then, maybe you could progress to something a little bigger such as a silent meditation retreat. I can honestly say, this is the most precious gift anyone could ever give themselves.

If you are interested in experiencing a little silence in a supportive group environment, then you may be interested in the meditation and yoga retreat I am holding in Devon at the end of August