Monday, February 12, 2007

finding silence

in a way, i "stumbled" into my practice of silence (though "coincidence" is a myth). in a separate study i was observing my tendency toward an addiction to stimulation (one i share with the american culture), and i began the practice of reducing stimulation in my daily routines. i began to feel what i was feeling every time i reached for the radio dial during my workday, and each time i reached for the radio dial, i would stop myself and instead hear the silence. i discovered that "listening" to the silence is an activity that is different from simply being surrounded by silence. i took the practice home and began actively listening to silence as a meditation. and i entered a deep and profound world.

as i came into the practice of silence, life around me began to shift and soon led to the changes that brought me to this place of freedom from debt and obligation, which became the freedom to do just what i want to do. i need to express, however, that for me the practice of silence is not a "tool" for "getting" (that feels like consumption). the practice of silence for me is one of surrender, not one of strategy. pure and profound silence is inconsistent with desire and want. it is not a place of request. i do not want to mislead anyone into considering the practice of silence as a means to receive but i do want to acknowledge that the world around me seems to come into greater alignment as i continue the practice of silence. i will continue to explore other elements that are present such as surrender and trust (one could, of course, have a very different experience with silence if variables are different).

despite its rich gifts (or perhaps because of them), the practice of silence is a discipline that calls for my mindfulness to keep it present in my life.

may i be ever mindful to spend part of each day in silence.

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