Finding Inner Silence: A Path to Clarity Through Meditation
I was first asked to be silent for a few days during a meditation retreat in 2006. At first, I almost had a panic attack. I was not used to silence! If I couldn’t communicate with others verbally, would I lose my connection to the world and somehow expire?
At that time, I had no steady connection to my inner Self, so I depended on the outside world to feel as if I existed. Of course, this inner monologue was in the unconscious, and I had no idea why I felt the way I felt.
Turning Inward: Shifting from External to Internal Focus
The first day or so was incredibly hard for me. I was very uncomfortable, especially during meal times when the thirty of us would sit and eat in silence. I wasn’t sure if I should keep eye contact and try to communicate with gestures or try to avoid locking eyes with anyone at all. I spent a significant amount of time just worrying about how to be silent.
After about 24 hours, I had a moment where it was as if I took the outside world’s attention and turned it 180 degrees back onto myself. Imagine your car’s headlights and turning them back towards the inside of the car and, in essence, shining the light on my self. Turning the focus and attention away from the outside and instead to the inside. At that moment, I realized that I no longer had to worry about how to relate to people or what to say next, and instead, I could simply relax. And oh boy, did I relax! It was the first moment of deep inner silence I’d ever had. One that I once thought would never be a possibility.
The joy of inner silence
The Transformative Power of Silence: Lessons Learned
The time spent worrying or thinking about how to communicate takes up A LOT of time. Meanwhile, the time spent in silence is so nurturing for your soul and heart. I learned that silence also helps me be less attached to my thoughts and relax and find inner peace.
Our lives are so busy that for me, it is crucial to find this silence daily if I can. Otherwise, I feel frazzled, tired, and moody.
Meditation is a beautiful starting point; if you can find a few minutes of meditating every day, after a bit, you will start to crave the stillness and the silence. You will start seeing things differently, you will start reacting to things differently, and then with time, the dramas in your life won’t affect you like they used to. Meditation has also opened up the connection and love I feel for other people, animals, and nature. When you calm the thought stream, you see the truth underneath, the layer of the mind and your soul, the one you have always been looking for—connection to my soul, connection to myself, connection to the world around me.
Meditation, for me, is blank space. There is nothing, just empty space.
What you are seeking is already within
Years ago, the idea of empty or blank space used to scare me, but since then, I have come to understand that it is not empty per se; it is the stillness that lies beyond it all, the ground of being. When the thoughts come into my meditation, I shift back to an empty space. It might sound very boring, but it’s the place I seek and long for to get back to every day. When I connect to this space, it brings about a feeling of a warm, nurturing blanket that I carry throughout the day. And this stillness keeps me present so that I can actually hear what my child is saying to me or so that I can access the same presence as my dog or my horses.
If my mind is too busy, I feel out of sync with those around me and the daily events in my life. A great example is that I am bound to have a bad ride on my horse. Feeling out of sync is the tell-tale sign of what is going on in your mind.
Just like children, animals mirror your inner state. If your mind is going at 180, your horse will feel tense because you are tense. With children, it is the same; the more distracted you are, the more frantic they will be to try to get your attention. Of course, neither the children nor the horses know what is happening. But, as we are all part of one energy, we feel others’ tension just the same as we feel others’ calm.
The blank space helps me stay present, and access that part of me that is infinite love. This is a state of being that is our natural state, but has been forgotten. When we find it again, we sense a feeling of home. Don’t take what is for granted without an investigation into the inner Self. As all the Sages say, what you are seeking is already within. For me, my wish in this life is to be here right now, right now. It is the only place to be. The only place that matters.
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