August 10

Silence is something like an endangered
species.  The experience of silence is now so
rare that we must guard it and treasure it.

Gunilla Norris


Today's Meditation:

I love silence, and as I get older, I enjoy it even more.  The problem is that I love music, also, so I have to make a concerted effort to find silence in my life by turning off the music now and then.  Other times, I just take a long hike or run or bike ride to someplace where I know that there won't be any noise, and that also helps me to find the silence.

And it's always worth it.  What silence allows me to do is relax completely, to think clearly, and to slow down the pace of everything that I do.  But it hasn't always been that way.  When I was younger, I found silence to be a bit uncomfortable, for there was something threatening about it.  A silent moment was a moment missing some sort of stimulus, making me feel that I should be doing something or watching something or listening to something.

I never realized then just what I was missing by always filling the silent moments with sound.  Gunilla understands the value of silence, and that's why she tells us that we should treasure it.  Silence is the stimulus that can help us to go inside of ourselves, to find those reserves of love and hope and compassion and ability.  Silence allows us to explore our thoughts and clarify them, to ponder things that are perplexing us and to process things that we've learned recently.  Silence allows us to simply be, which is something that's very hard to do in noisy environments.

I know people who have to turn on the TV or radio as soon as they walk into a room--they can't handle the silence, for it makes them uncomfortable.  But what they don't realize is just what the silence can do for them, if they allow it to do so.  It can be one of the most soothing balms that they experience, if they let it be so.  Silence is a treasure, and it is an endangered species, especially now that we carry our phones with us.  We must seek it out, revel in it, and enjoy it whenever we can.

Questions to consider:

When and where are your best times and places for experiencing silence?

Why do so many people feel uncomfortable with silence?

Why is silence considered to be a treasure for so many?

For further thought:

True silence is the rest of the mind; it is to the spirit
what sleep is to the body, nourishment and refreshment.

William Penn


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