The Basic Practice
Silence is often referred to in terms of space: the immensity inside, the cave of the heart, the oasis of quiet, the inner sanctuary, the interior castle, the sacred center where God dwells. For centuries, people have used this practice as a resting and renewal stop on the spiritual journey. It provides a way to periodically withdraw from the world. You may go into silence as a prelude to prayer, or you may seek it as the place where through meditation you can contact your deeper self and Spirit.
How can you find this inner quietude, tranquility, and calm? You must make room for it — literally. Find a space of physical silence where you can sit quietly, away from distracting demands, voices, and sounds. Go there every day. It is the gateway to your interior silence.
Why This Practice May Be For You
Our world contrasts sharply with the inner world of silence. We are bombarded daily with the noise of crowded residences, workplaces, and entertainment sites. The clamorous voices of the media are always trying to get our attention. We live amidst the seemingly relentless roar of our machines, our tools, and our toys.
Very few places today are soundproof. The norm is noisy verging on chaotic. The Tower of Babel still stands in our midst, a grim reminder that our various expressions can divide and even conquer us. When this world feels overwhelming and chaos seems to be getting the best of us, silence is a powerful antidote. This practice increases our capacity for contemplation. It enables us to focus our attention on deep matters of the heart. It is where we can commune with things greater than the cacophony all around us.
Daily Cue, Reminder, Vow, Blessing
- Turning off a television, a radio, or a portable media player is my cue to practice silence.
- Seeing someone meditating is a reminder that I must incorporate silence into my daily routine.
- Noting the silences in my conversations with others, I vow to use silence as a bridge rather than as a barrier.
- Blessed is the Most High who meets us in silence.