August 17     

Today's quotation:

Take time to be quiet.  This is something that we don't do enough in this busy world of ours.  We rush, rush, rush, and we are constantly listening to noise all around us.  The human heart was meant for times of quiet, to peer deep within.  It is when we do this that our hearts are set free to soar and take flight on the wings of our own dreams!  Schedule some quiet "dream time" this week.  No other people.  No cell phone.  No computer.  Just you, a pad, a pen, and your thoughts.

Jim Rohn

Today's Meditation:

It's easy to want to hear noise-- silence makes many of us uncomfortable.  I've known people who need to turn on the television set as soon as they enter their homes, not to watch it but so that they don't have to deal with the silence in their houses.  Some of us need music playing all the time, and others have their headphones in constantly, listening to music or audiobooks.  Silence isn't many people's best friend, and that's a shame because it could be.

Silence allows our brains to calm down-- the lack of stimuli for our hearing allows us to stop processing input after input, noise after noise, sound after sound.  We don't realize just how busy our brains always are when we're going through our normal day-to-day lives, and many people find the loss of all those stimuli to be rather frightening simply because it's something that they haven't experienced much, not because it's something that's frightening but because it's something that's unknown.

But unknown or not, it can be extremely valuable to us because it gives us a chance to relax, to ponder, to enjoy, to relish.  Silence can be rejuvenating, making us feel better in a very short period of time as we get a chance to just be quiet in a world that always wants to throw noise our way.  While I love to listen to music, I often turn the music off or just don't turn it on because I know that my mind and body need silence now and then, and as nice as music is, it doesn't fill the need for silence.

The current challenge with silence, of course, is that we actively have to seek it out or carve it out, for it's not all that common in our daily lives.  We have to make a decision to experience silence, and if we don't know how important it is to us, there's no real reason to do so.  But it's a part of life that can be truly important, and to neglect silence in favor of sound and noise can be one of the least helpful decisions that we ever make.  Even if we visit it only occasionally, we really should make silence a part of our lives.

Questions to consider:

How much true silence and stillness do we actually experience?

How do we know how silence affects us if we don't give it a chance?

What are some benefits of silence that you've experienced?

For further thought:

Silence is the great teacher and to learn its lessons you must pay attention to it.  There is no substitute for the creative inspiration, knowledge, and stability that come from knowing how to contact your core of inner silence.

Deepak Chopra

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