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a mediation on silence…

si•lence |ˈsīləns|
complete absence of sound
• the fact or state of abstaining from speech
• the avoidance of mentioning or discussing something
• the state of standing still and not speaking as a sign of respect for someone deceased or in an opportunity for prayer

today i would like to consider the concept of silence. not the complete absence of sound, which is nearly impossible to create, but rather the concept of silence, or stillness.

i work with many individuals who report a great deal of anxiety and stress. they also often report a constant “chatter” in their brain. they say they have so many thoughts going at once they sometimes feel overwhelmed. often times for these individuals, the thing they need the most they are the most afraid to explore…silence.

silence can be frightening. for people who are not used to a quiet mind, the thought of trying to achieve such a state seems impossible. for others, to be quiet and still would mean to focus on all that “chatter” in their heads — stresses of the day, preoccupations, fears, the inner critic — which they admit they spend a great deal of time trying to avoid.

in our work together, we discuss the concept of stillness. what it would mean to be still and silent. how to deal with the chatter and the importance of letting go. we practice for brief periods of time with a timer, discuss feelings and thoughts that arise. and set goals

it is a wonderful thing to watch as someone first considers, then explores and ultimately comes to enjoy silence.

do you meditate or bring silence into your day/week? are you uncomfortable with silence? what does it mean to you?