Below are three exercises to help cultivate the art of silence and listening. To be silent requires being able to listen.
There is a silent channel in our mind. First we have to access it. Second we have to listen to the silence and be with it. The silence is always there. Our challenge is to train ourselves to pay attention to it.
Everyday be silent and practice listening within. Do this for a few minutes before and after your meditation practice. We need to spend this silent time with
ourselves, every morning before we start our workday. Simply sit quietly be
with your breath, feel the sensations in your body and find your neutral
channel. Gently and silently be with yourself.
During the day, practice listening to yourself before you interact with others. Listen inside to what you want to say before saying it. Do your best to get your own answers before seeking advice. Process your own thoughts and feelings before sharing them with others. Share only those thoughts and feelings that inform and inspire others. Do not dump your emotions on others as a way to avoid processing them yourself. Keep your own personal issues and process to
yourself. (Unless you are working with a counselor or therapy group.)
Once a week practice silence with a partner or with a group of friends. Observing
silence, go for a walk together, be together at home, eat a meal together or
partake in another activity. Agree on the process beforehand, so you can relax
and enjoy the experience. Have a notepad handy in case the need to communicate arises.
You might also want to check out silent Buddhist evening and day meditations or week retreats.
The above practice makes us aware of how much we turn our attention outward and look for cues outside ourselves. We realize how much we say that is unnecessary and a waste of energy. We start to see how much we try to fill in
“empty” spaces to feel comfortable or make the other person feel comfortable so we will feel comfortable.
We find our intuition and “hear God, the Infinite” in the open spaces of our
minds. I am always reminded that I have to listen to myself, if I want to hear
my intuition. It is not that our intuition is not working. It is dormant
through inactivity or is buried by all our mental noise. We are not listening,
trusting and following our intuition. When we don’t listen to our intuition,
our Soul screams at us in other ways – through accidents, stress, fear, and
Written by Guru Rattana, Ph.D.
Photo Credit: http://www.mansibhatia.com/