Silence tethers me to the present moment, right here, right now, in this moment. When I am silent I can hear my inner wisdom speaking to me, I can hear the birds singing to me, I can hear my heart’s desire, I can hear messages from the Universe. “The quieter we become, the more we hear.” – Ram Das
I attended a workshop on silence in March of 2012 at The Franciscan Spirituality Center in Lacrosse, WI and the gifts were immeasurable. Here are a few of the things I learned about silence. Silence slows me down, centers and grounds me, helps me to be instead of do. Spending time in silence allows me space to look inward instead of outward. Silence reconnects me to my dreams, visions, creativity, intuition and imagination. It gives me room to breathe, to pause, to focus on what really matters to me. I made a decision in January of this year to go on a personal retreat on a quarterly basis and I have honored that decision. I did a Forgiveness Retreat in February, a Mother’s Day Retreat in May and a Fall Retreat in October. My final retreat of the year will be this month and I have yet to choose the date, I will do it today. Anne D. LeClare, the author of Listening Below the Noise, The Transformative Power of Silence, has been taking a day of silence each month since 1992. Here is what she discovered early on in her monthly practice of silence. “Silence was no longer a whim but, I realized, essential for my soul. I saw that there was something to be learned in the everyday-in all the joys and sorrows and pains and tasks as ordinary as as scrubbing a dirty floor. But mostly our busy worlds are too noisy for us to pay attention. We don’t touch the rawness of the truth until we stop.”
What about you? When was the last time you sat in silence? How can you create space in your life for a regular practice of silence? What gifts are available to you in silence? What do you hear in silence?
I invite you to explore the transformative power of silence at my February Retreat at the Carondelet Center in St Paul. Details are on my website.
18 thoughts on “The Sound of Silence”
Thanks Vickie, Debbie and Stacy! I so appreciate your comments:)
i love silence! It is a soothing balm. Thank you for this piece.
My favorite time to the day is early morning…before the sun comes up. I’m usually the only one awake at that point so I can sit with my coffee, sweet silence, and meditate. Listening to my inner voice….counting my blessings….and loving my life!
Like Kelly – thanks for the nudge. THere is a monastery here in Atlanta on the Chattahoochee that does weekends of silence. I have investigated it before and never taken the plunge. 2015 just be the year!
Deborah, the retreats are a gift to myself and the benefits are huge. Thanks for your comments.
Linda, I love what you said about being available to yourself, me too. I am trying to stay off Facebook on Sundays to give myself a break. Sounds like you have really incorporated a practice of silence into your life, good for you!
Thanks for your comments Kelly. i am always happy to offer a nudge:)
I agree with you Susan that silence can be transformative. There are huge benefits to spending time in silence. Thanks for your comments.
Thanks for your comments Tat. I had to laugh when I read about the teacher talking so much. That’s why I am very specific in my marketing material for the February retreat that it is not a day of silence.
Thanks for your comments Elda. I recommend Anne D. LeClare’s book. I mentioned it in my post.
What a beautiful gift to give yourself quarterly retreats. Silence is very important to me as well. I’m not myself without a large and consistent dose of it.
I have silence on pretty much a weekly basis. Husband is out of town on business then, and other than speaking to him briefly via phone in the morning, I am silent for the weekend, which can extend into Monday or even Tuesdays. I usually choose one of those days to stay off social media also. Most of my friends don’t understand this and think that my husband being out of town, means I am available for them! No, I’m available for me. Thanks for this post.
Linda Watson also practices periods of silence and has written posts about it on her blog Blue Heron Weaving. I do need to do more of this myself. Thank you for another nudge yet again.
Thank you, Nancy. I’m inspiring by your commitment to go on retreat 4 times a year. I went on a silent retreat with Thich Nhat Hanh. I could feel the energetic change when a group of 900 quieted. My husband and I eat our meals in silence and wake each morning to several hours of quiet. It has been transformative for me. I agree so much with what you write about the gifts of quiet.
Just last night on 60 minutes, John Kabat-Zinn talked about the effect of quiet on the body. He hooked Anderson Cooper’s brain to electrodes. When prompted to think about something anxious, the chart went red measuring a section of his brain. Then he began to quiet himself and breathe, and almost immediately the chart showed green, signaling his brain and body calming. Fascinating.
I went to a meditation retreat where we were supposed to keep noble silence. I thought it could have been more silent, our teacher didn’t stop talking! But nevertheless, the effects of silence were amazing. I felt so peaceful in the end.
Four retreats a year, very admirable! What an interesting concept to take one day a month to be in silence. Wonderful!
Sounds like your intuition is trying to get your attention Michele. The retreats I’ve gone on are solo retreats at home. The idea came from Jennifer Louden’s book “The Woman’s Retreat Book.” I highly recommend it. Thanks for your comments:)
Silence is so important. I’m considering shifting my morning routine to include 15 or 20 minutes of silence and reflection every morning. I feel like this is an important step for me to take at this point in my life. I’m impressed with all the retreats you’ve gone on this year. I usually go on two but only made it on one this past year unless you count my camping trips which feel like a retreat of sorts 🙂