Silence is God’s first language; everything else is a poor translation. In order to hear that language, we must learn to be still and to rest in God.
— Thomas Keating
Communication is an art, yet silence is the basis of spirituality. When you are in silence you can connect to the universe. Yet it is not easy for most of us used to the hustle and bustle of modern day life to be silent. Of course at the very outset you must understand that silence does not simply mean to be the absence of talking or communication. So let us find about the sounds of silence and their significance in our daily life as well as the spiritual quest.
What is Silence?
From the spiritual perspective the concept of silence is more related to mind and its thoughts rather than the mouth and tongue. You might remain without speaking for an entire day and yet be in perfect noise in the mind. However it is also true at the same time that one cannot get into that state of mind straight away so physical silence is a necessary first step too.
The Sounds of Silence
Many people say that it is impossible for them to be silent in today’s world of confusion. However, if you learn to appreciative the peace and silence within you then you will be able to live a much better life. Even five minutes of peace a day can make you feel much better and positive.
Although the practice of silence goes much beyond the simple concepts outlined below, yet you can consider them as the pre-requisites to practicing silence. Do take care of the following points:
- Every morning before you get out of the bed just spend five minutes to listen to the flow of your breath. Your eyes must be closed as you do this. This will help you to feel grateful and feel the peace that dwells within you.
- Spend the first few moments as you get up in silence. Please tell the people around you to allow you to be silent and feel the power of silence. Make a cup of tea and sit in a quiet place sipping the coffee. As you sip the coffee keep your mind blank and think only about the coffee that you are sipping. Please do not switch on the television or radio early in the morning. This will break the process of listening and appreciating the silence in you. We would advise if you can sit in a garden or in a balcony that will take you closer to the nature
- As you proceed with the day ensure that you do not listen to a radio as you drive or take a shower. Talk only as much as you need to. Do not talk unnecessarily and do not listen to things that you don’t need to. For example if you are driving without listening to the radio you will be a able to concentrate better and you will be able to work better.
- Always take a few seconds before you speak. This will allow you to organise the ideas better. This will allow you to control your mind better.
- Meditation is a very good way to concentrate and feel the silence within you much better. You can learn some basic meditation skills and practice them for ten to fifteen minutes a day in the morning so try to meditate every morning. As you practice regularly you will notice that you can meditate much longer and better. It will also help you to feel the inner peace better.
- Once a week or a month take a walk in the park or go on a trek. As you do that you will be for some time with yourself and the Mother Nature. It will make you feel and appreciate the peace in you. This will calm you down and make you more relaxed.
- Whenever possible switch of the cell phone and the television. Try to leave anything that causes external noise in your life. Spend the time with a good book or seeing old pictures. It will make you understand the true power of silence. When you spend an evening like this you will automatically feel a sense of peace and calm that you have not felt in quite some time.
- The mind is a thinking tool. It can never stop thinking. It will either think of what happened in the past or of what will happen in the future. Leave the mind in peace and let it be present in the moment now. It should not be allowed to wonder. When you can control the mind and make it stay in the present you will be able to live a much better and a peaceful life. This will really allow you to feel the power of silence and inner peace. You can achieve this by practicing mindfulness.
- Always spend some time a day in prayer. Pray to the lord and ask him for peace. Ask his to give you the ability to appreciate the peace within and live a more calm life. When you genuinely try to ensure that you realise the power of silence you will see that there is an unknown and unseen power that is helping you to realise the same. Of course there is a subtle difference between prayer and meditation which is explained in this site as well.
- Before you go to sleep in the night you must keep some moment to feel the silence in you. Try not to see the television or listen to the radio just before you go to sleep this will disturb the silence within you and as a result you will not be able to sleep well.
- Some people say that during the day when they feel really stressed they just close the eyes and concentrate on the peace within. They switch off from all the chaos that is happening around them. A few minutes of this exercise can really make feel the power of silence and help them to get back to the role that they were doing.
It can be said that most sounds which are not natural can be classified as noise. For example the sound of a bird, the sound of water flowing, the sound of a baby crying and any other sound that comes from a natural source are a sound and not a noise. You can listen to these sounds of silence without disturbing the peace in you.