Last year I participated in a Silence Retreat. It was an amazing experience. Being silent means more than just holding your tongue. It means listening for the softest, most subtle sound of all – the sound of the soul.
Verbal silence invites you to become mentally silent, as well. Thinking has been defined as non-verbal language. One of the first exercises in learning how to meditate is to slow down (or completely stop) the mental activity called the "monkey mind." Like a monkey in a cage, our thoughts usually jump from topic to topic in a rapid and endless motion. By not speaking, you can more easily learn to control the speed of your "monkey mind" and that allows your mind more easily to become silent…the necessary step for effective meditation.
When you do not talk, you become more sensitive to your external surroundings. After four days of silence I felt such intense connection with everything around me – precisely because I hadn’t uttered a word. It was as if all my senses were wide open….
Not only I have become more attuned to my external environment, I have also began to focus more clearly on my internal environment. When you can’t verbally respond to the world outside you, you become more aware of what is going on inside: every little discomfort, your breathing pattern, your pulse and heartbeat, your digestive sounds, etc.
Silence is not just not talking. It’s a place where all things come from. All voices, all creation comes out of this silence. Don't believe me? Take some time to stop talking aloud and internally. You may be surprised at what you can learn about the world around you… and your soul.
So long my friends,