"We are more than our words," Laurie Anderson
Silence is a funny thing modern day culture. It provokes strong emotions--you either love or it despise it. Those uneasy with silence are terrified to keep company with themselves. They busy their lives with lots of external chatter in order to bury the intelligent and ever knowing voice inside--the silent witness that observes all thoughts and emotions. On the other hand, there are folks who are so comfortable with quietude, that they could be in the middle of Times Square and tap into the boundless quiet energy that exists within.
In American culture, silence is not golden. We live in a loud society where noise is king and queen. Culturally speaking, we are not encouraged to be silent. But in every culture around the world, days of rest and quietude are celebrated and encouraged and though called by different names--it's really the same thing: a day to be completive, to be still and to deepen the connection with the divine.
There is not doubt that silence heals. In the chaos and demands of modern day society, the healing power of silence is more urgent than ever. It is especially important to encourage silence in children, it's a way to feed their imagination.
Keeping silence on a regular is necessary because it brings inner calm and joy. Over the years, I've come to love, cherish and cultivate silence in my life. The more I experience silence, the more I am enchanted by it.
Love it or loathe it, silence is really great for you. However, it's not something that just happens, you must be committed to it, actively cultivate it and make time for it.
During the last few years of his life as he lived with brain cancer, David Simon spent a lot of time contemplating silence. He wrote a very beautiful piece called Awakening in Silence. If you are seeking to cultivate silence in your life, take a read.
If you are interested in attending a silent retreat, check out this Huffington Post piece where more than a dozen silent getaways are listed.
Carve out time to be silent, a few hours a day, an entire day. The benefits you will reap are plenty. Here are ten healing effects of silence:
Silence cleanses and detoxifies the mind
Silence expands creativity
Silence brings joy
Silence helps you to discover your inner life
Silence lets you see more clearly the world around you
Silence boosts your immune system by reducing stress
Silence feeds the soul
Silence balances your life
Silence brings calm
Silence nourishes the heart