The Art of Silence A Silent Meditation for Days

In the yogic tradition, meditations practiced for a certain number of days have a certain effect. Forty days is the minimum to break a habit and set the stage for an internal shift. One student asked me once-"Forty days in a row?!" The whole class laughed. Yes, forty days in a row! And if that seems like a long time, in the past many spiritual masters have taken 40 years to achieve enlightenment. I imagine that all of us on the KYList have done that path in other lifetimes. This lifetime, we are attempting to get quicker results, so that we can enjoy peace and happiness while still in the body.

Let's get started. Here is a simple mindful meditation to practice for the next 40 days. Actually silent, mindful meditation is our first, last and on-going lesson. We will use this meditation as a touchstone overtime to review our progress and assess our goal of achieving inner peace, contentment and a richer, fuller life.

EXERCISE ONE

Everyday be silent and practice listening within. Morning before sunrise is the best time. Or at least morning before you start your workday. Simply sit quietly and observe your thoughts, be with your breath and feel the sensations in your body. Gently and silently be with yourself. Start with 3 to 5 minutes and work up to 11 minutes. If you have time, you may want to work up to 22 or 31 minutes.

EXERCISE TWO

During the day, practice listening to yourself before you interact with others. Listen inside to what you want to say before saying it. Do your best to get your own answers before seeking advise. Process your own thoughts and feelings before sharing them with others. Share only those thoughts and feelings that inform and inspire others. Do not dump your emotions on others as a way to avoid processing them yourself. Keep your own personal issues and process to yourself. (Unless you are working with a counselor or therapy group.)

EXERCISE THREE

Once a week practice silence with a partner or with a group of friends. Observing silence, go for a walk together, be together at home, eat a meal together or partake in another activity. Agree on the process beforehand, so you can relax and enjoy the experience. Have a notepad handy in case the need to communicate arises.

You might also want to check out silent Buddhist evening and day meditations or week retreats.

RESULTS

The above practice makes us aware of how much we turn our attention outward and look for cues outside ourselves. We realize how much we say that is unnecessary and a waste of energy. We start to see how much we try to fill in "empty" spaces to feel comfortable or make the other person feel comfortable so we will feel comfortable.

We find our intuition and "hear God, the Infinite" in the open spaces of our minds. I am always reminded that I have to listen to myself, if I want to hear my intuition. It is not that our intuition is not working. It is dormant through inactivity or is buried by all our mental noise. We are not listening, trusting and following our intuition. When we don't listen to our intuition, our Soul screams at us in other ways-accidents, stress, fear, and anger. (You must have noticed! :+))

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