Monday, 21 November 2011

The refreshing sound of silence

I am a talker, I love a good chat, love to find out about people and things, ask questions, know what’s going on, discuss and debate… I love to talk.  So you’d think a day sitting in silence would be my worst nightmare – I thought so too until I went on a day’s meditation retreat.

I have now been on a couple, most recently last Saturday which followed two long intense days delivering workshops, and it was something of a relief to be able to switch off and just stop and sit. In silence.

'Meditation' itself can conjure up all sorts of perceptions, from chanting and chimes, to levitating into some sort of ecstatic state. I’m pleased to say the teacher I've experience of put it as simply ‘just sitting’ (can you see why I like him?!). And anyone can do it of course you don’t have to be a Buddhist, hippy or ‘alternative’ type.

Of course there’s a bit more to it and if you’re interested you can learn lots more about it - and how helpful it can be (I highly recommend the very lovely Happy Buddha whose retreats I’ve been on – he also has a new book out, see

But there is something really beneficial about just sitting in silence.  I'm not quite sure when the world got so noisy - with the invention of the radio, television or the walkman? Or why we all got so used to having so much going on, being so busy and surrounded by so much background noise. When’s the last time you spent even ten minutes in silence? Not plugged into your headphones, or with the radio or tv on in the background, not talking or listening to anyone, not even thinking or worrying about yesterday or tomorrow?

Why not try just switching off for ten minutes today – sit by yourself, in silence, close your eyes and just focus on how you feel right here right now. Go on, give it a go – you never know like me you may surprise yourself and find you even like it!

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