Some observations after the ten days of intentionally seeking silence – in no particular order.
I’ve not found any pure outer silence – there are always noises. Not a surprise. Waking in the night at a weekend is the most silent the city can be – but with the occasional passing cabs and the clickety click of suitcase wheels of the night time travelers.
With no outer silence there can be inner silence doing everyday tasks, like washing up.
Yet inner silence in during daily activities does need some structured times of meditation or prayer.
Saying the short formal daily prayers of the church has become a way into silence – pleased that reading, and speaking out loud can create an inner silence.
I am shocked to find how frantically busy I can become without noticing. I catch myself thinking ‘I ll do this, and then I can do that,and that, and after that I will clean this,email them and return that call.’
So, why am I hurrying? Will shaving 100th of a second off washing this plate really make a difference to the time it takes to clear the kitchen?!’
Inner silence is always there – to be returned to.
It is sometimes easier to have a cup of tea and sit doing nothing as a way into a structured time of meditation – by the time the tea has cooled I might just have got used to the idea that of being still and silent.
I was very glad that during a mindfulness day conference in Oxford there were short one minute silences between the different topics in our small group discussions. A chance to ‘check in’ and notice sensations, feelings and thoughts after one discussion and before the next – it seemed to help with moving between listening and sharing.
That’s all for now. Thanks for your comments and personal reflections, interesting things to hear about.