The world is a very noisy place these days and silence something that many people actively avoid. I consider myself a reasonably conscious human being and yet I find myself doing the very same thing even though I know perfectly well that being silent is a great way of tuning in to deeper feelings and sensations. So what is so hard about simply sitting in silence? On my lunch break when I work a full day I usually go out to the balcony where I can breathe fresh air and see the sky and feel the wind on my face. And I know that once I’ve finished eating that the best way of spending the rest of my break time is to sit in meditation. Then the next thing I know I’m looking at Facebook on my phone and getting caught up in all of that stuff and I only manage a few minutes of actually sitting in stillness.
And yet sitting silently with deep feelings has been a huge part of my healing and growth. I know how valuable it is from my own experience but it is still a struggle to make myself stop and just sit. Our society doesn’t place any value in such an activity and we are indoctrinated at an early age to get out there and do things rather than spend time sitting around daydreaming. The phrase “Silence is Golden” is about being quiet while you work hard at what you’ve been told to do. The idea that there might be some benefit in the space created by silence gets lost as we pursue the next goal or task. Houses are full of the sound of television and our roads resound with engines and brakes and horns.
So how can we rewrite this programming? How can I deliver on my promise to myself to do more regular meditation? Force of will is not a method that appeals to me but as I get more and more frustrated I am ready to try just about anything! Making a witnessed commitment in the last few posts has also been a failure up to this point. I’m feeling tired as I write this and my brain feels completely stymied and yet an answer floats up almost immediately. It consists of one word, gratitude. When you feel grateful your mood shifts and thus it is an elegant way of moving from one state of consciousness to another. So if I am wanting to be quiet and am meeting resistance the best response I can make is to fill that space with all the things that I am grateful for. It almost seems too good to be true but it does give me an easy technique to apply in my quest for inner peace and outer prosperity.
It’s worth a shot anyway, maybe even a gratitude diary where I write down all the things in my life that I am grateful for. As a lover of improvisation I will probably make it up as I go along ! And who knows what will happen as I spend more and more time in meditative spaces, many of the thorny issues I’m currently facing may turn into beautiful roses smelling sweet!