At the end of the day, when you climb into your bed after the lights are out, have you ever taken a moment to appreciate the silence that slowly envelops you in the darkness?
In this quiet state, the sounds that were once drowned out by the hustle and bustle of the day become more pronounced. You can hear the steady drum-beat of your heart, the quiet whisper of your breath, and the sounds of the natural world that remind you of the beauty and simplicity of life.
This symphony of silence is a beautiful and powerful thing. It is the tranquillity that lies beneath the surface of our busy lives. It is the music that you can only hear when you take the time to be quiet and listen. It is a call to mindfulness, to be present in the here and now, and to find peace in the midst of chaos. You don’t notice it, but this symphony of silence is always playing, patiently waiting for us to tune in and listen.
But why should you pay any heed to silence?
Silence creates a space for self-reflection, and it helps you to reconnect with yourself and the world around you. Without the silence, you are constantly bombarded with noise, and you may slowly lose touch with the magic of life.
Did you know that when Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism achieved enlightenment, he maintained silence for a whole week? For him, the stronger was the silence, the more powerful were the questions that arose. He taught us that by remaining silent and still, one can gain a deeper understanding of oneself, and this understanding can help to lead to a state of inner peace and enlightenment. In particular, Buddha taught us that silence can be used as a tool for self-control, as it allows one to detach from the constant chatter of the mind, and to focus on the present moment.
But sometimes silence can be disconcerting because you are so accustomed to the sounds and the buzz of activity around you. But do not fear silence. Embrace it.
· Start by incorporating small periods of silence into your daily routine. This could be as simple as taking a few minutes each morning or evening to sit in silence and focus on your breath. As you become more comfortable with this practice, you can gradually increase the amount of time you spend in silence.
· Another way to approach this is by using mindfulness techniques such as meditation or Yoga during the periods of silence, as these practices can help you to focus your mind and become more aware of your thoughts and emotions. You can also do activities that you enjoy in silence. For example, reading, writing, or taking a walk in nature. This can help to create a positive association with silence and make it feel less intimidating.
· An easy time to find quietude is when you turn in for the night. After you’ve switched off the light, spend a few minutes looking into the darkness, going over how the day went. The silence can help you analyse your thoughts and behaviours of that day, and introspect on how you could have managed your emotions or reactions better.
Remember that silence is not always easy to find, especially in a world of hyperactivity and technology and incessant notifications on your smartphones. However, it is important that you make an effort to create silence in your life and make it a priority. This could mean turning off your notifications after work hours or closing your laptop, or even finding a quiet place to work or study.
Don’t be too hard on yourself though, if it feels uncomfortable at first. Embracing silence is a process and it takes time to get comfortable with it. Try to be patient and kind to yourself. The more you practise, the more you will learn to appreciate the benefits of silence and how it can help you to be more present and mindful in your daily life.
Embracing silence is an opportunity to look deeper into yourself, to become more self-aware, and to gain a better understanding of your own emotions and behaviours. Sometimes, it can also bring up surprising epiphanies. For example, in an experiment conducted on silence with college students some years ago, the participants discovered how much unnecessary talking they were doing every day and the extent of energy and emotions they were expending because of it. It also led them to a realisation that not every situation requires a response or the need to express one’s opinion.
The absence of sound can help you to be more mindful of the things you like about yourself and the things you don’t. In that silence, seek to make positive changes in your life and become a better version of yourself.
“In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in a clearer light, and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness.” – Mahatma Gandhi