“Music is the silence between notes,” said French composer Claude Debussy. As people, we need to sleep, and we need to be active. We have to do things, but we also need silence while we are awake. It’s the way that we center and ground ourselves. It is how we reset our minds. Can we know what/who we are if we don’t know what it is like to be?
Be-ing is only available in peace (of the mind and body). Humans naturally crave peace and quiet, yet it’s not familiar to us anymore. If you don’t know what you are missing, you don’t know what to look for. It’s important to delve deep into grounding and centering…to reclaim that sense of self that comes from direct experience.
Have you ever stared into a fire and gotten lost in the glow? Where was your mind? Where were all of your thoughts? They weren’t focused or unfocused. You were grounded. You were connected. You had become cohesive and intuitive.
Meditation is synonymous with silence. Going into full meditative mind for more than a few minutes can feel as restorative at a full night’s rest. Meditation is a (passive) exercise in allowing thoughts to fade and lower brain waves just as we would to get quality sleep.
Like a computer, our brain gets ‘gummed up’ and runs slow until it’s cleaned up and restarted. Silence resets our thoughts and wipes away negative patterns like anger, sadness and impatience. Embracing silence through meditation, prayer or ritual is how we become attentive and tune in to our basic biology. That’s why we will be wiser every time we silence our mind. It’s like stepping toward a state of awareness that brings a more intuitive path into view.
The Toaists say, “something does not always come from something, but something always comes from nothing.” Think back to a great idea that you have had. Can you trace back the origin of that epiphany? Typically not. Because most great ideas come after moments of silence: prayer, meditation, sleep, or some other shifting of perspective and emptying of the mind. Only in silence does the mind become wholistic and actually draw from all of its knowledge and wisdom at the same time.
Our minds can be complicated places. We often confuse who we are with what we think. We over-validate our thoughts, living within stories that our thoughts create. Silent practice erases those patterns. It settles and re-orients the mind so we can take a new bearing in the world.
Silence brings peace. It is contagious. If you practice it enough you will develop a passion for it. Because in letting go of all thoughts and mental patterns, they/we can return: pure, simple and true. Only when slipping into a still mind do we connect with our spirit and our basic intuitive nature.
Author: Jaron Siegel is a health coach, speaker and writer in Grand Rapids. His company, The Wellness Mentors, works with individuals and companies to inspire healthy habits to success.