Silence and Meditation

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Silence and mind-calming exercise have actually frequently gone hand-in-hand. Zen monks sit calmly in seiza ‘enjoying’ their minds. Trappist and Cistercian monks occasionally choose weeks, or even years, in silence to look for seclusion with God even when surrounded by an area. Quakers sit silently listening for the voice of God. Lots of normal people also sit in quiet reflection a little bit every day as a medicine to stress and depression.

Silent Meditation

Silent mind-calming exercise is typically contrasted with rule meditation. In rule reflection, the meditator repeats a word or phrase out loud to focus the mind. Silent mind-calming exercise, by contrast, is carried out without a sound. The mind concentrates on itself, on the sensations of the body and breath or on images consisted of within the mind. Silent reflection allows no songs, no chimes or singing bowls, no cues from a facilitator. The mind is left alone with itself, without outdoors stimulation.

Outer and Inner Silence

The purpose of producing a quiet environment is to still the inner environment, the clatter going on in the mind. A lot of people live with a stable stream of thoughts, psychological reactions, sensory impressions and judgments flowing through their mind all the time. Sit quietly and pay attention to your mind. You’ll discover that it hops from believed to thought without stopping. Ken Cohen, Taoist priest and qigong master, speaks of the ‘fasting of the mind.’ By this he means letting go of those thoughts that your mind chews on all day. When the mind quicks, it purposely glances at and afterwards drops aside each thought as it comes up. It observes but doesn’t engage the sound of the mind. Gradually the mind stills. That’s the objective of quiet reflection: stillness.

Silence and Mind

Stillness can be an end in itself. It can be a much-needed vacation from the needs of our ideas. Zen monks, nonetheless, cultivate silence in an effort to behold their real self, the self that exists independently from all the transitory affairs of their lives. Christian mystics tune their minds to hear the ‘still small voice’ of God in the silence of their prayers and reflections. Quakers utilize silence to offer themselves distance from their desires. The 17th century Quake Robert Barclay mentioned ‘not being just quiet regarding words but even refraining from all their own thoughts, creativities and desires.’

When it Is not Silent

Silence is a rare product in a city. Lots of urban locals are surrounded by the noises of other individuals 24 hours every day. City noise, surprisingly enough, doesn’t have to keep a meditator from inner stillness. Mind-calming exercise teacher Jack Kornfield suggests seeing the mind engage the sounds as they pass into and out of your awareness. He states, ‘Feel the sound as it touches your ear … Let the noise be a wave as the breath is a wave.’ Simply puts, the mind can rest in silence, watching sounds come and go from a detached perspective.