Practice Silence in Daily Life

Day 6 – Practice Silence in Daily Life of “Sound & Silence”

of Remembering ‘Who am I’ Series

An Alpine Symphony, by Richard Strauss, depicts a dawn to dusk climb up a mountain.

[Listen to the audio here]

[Read the transcript here]

Hello there, welcome to day 6 of ‘Silence and Sound’ chapter from the Remembering series. It is good to have you here. I hope you are well. This is a space where we want to discover and explore the practices of incorporating silence in our daily life. How can we incorporate and involve more silence into our life? Especially in the midst of this modern busy lifestyle.

Let’s look at the goals we want, why do we want to practice silence? The first main purpose and intention is to reclaim our attention back to this present moment, here and now, and with practice and patients, we will enjoy the benefits that silence can bring to us. The intention is to reclaim our attention.

I’ve set 3 main goals for us, for you, as a practice, as a challenge and 3 more additional goals, so 6 main goals, so that we can practice in our life. 

  • The 1st goal is to make silence a daily habit.
  • The 2nd goal is to schedule time for you to be physically alone daily.
  • The 3rd is to practice silence in the midst of daily activities, to find silence throughout our daily activities.
  • The 4th additional goal is to re-centre ourselves in the midst of group activities, whenever we are with people, to be at our core in our centre.
  • The 5th goal is to practice to be in presence, not to carry away by the past, and the future, so to be in the present moment.
  • The 6th goal is when we communicate with people, we practice deep listening and when people ask us question, we don’t answer it immediately, digest it, take this question into our body, into this present moment, and then we answer it.

The last three goals are more subtle, it’s not that easy to measure and serve as an awareness for us throughout our daily lives. Let’s see how can we incorporate silence into our daily lives.

Before that, we have 3 conditions to practice silence that I would love to introduce.

  • The 1st is to be physical isolated or not, it is up to you. Doesn’t really have to be physically isolated, but, it is best to do so.
  • Secondly, is to remove all kinds of inputs and distractions, to minimize and put away the digital devices, tell people that you are right now in a time of being with yourself for self-reflection.
  • The 3rd condition is to set aside time intentionally to be in silence.

How can we incorporate all this? How can we find silence throughout our daily life?

  • Let’s review from the start of our day, when we wake up, what do you do, when the alarm rang or you wake up naturally, do you get up from the bed immediately? How can we incorporate silence when you wake up? Before you get up from the bed, take mindful breath, just take a pause before the habit of getting out of the bed or probably after turning off the alarm. Then, we can take a simple 1 minute to 2 minutes to 20 minutes of silence after you are awake, sit up, simply close your eyes, and just be aware of the breathing. Set an intention and feel the elevated emotions that you want for the day.
  • Now, we move on to grooming, brushing teeth, you can brush your teeth, start doing makeup, or shower in silence. By putting awareness into our breath, thoughts, and feelings. 
  • Now we move on to preparing meals, as we prepare meals, when we buy meals and as we eat, we can also incorporate silence. Where we eat in silence, by ourselves, focusing on the food.
  • When we commute to work, if you’re driving, you can drive in silence. Without music, just be with yourself, being conscious. When you take public transport, what I will do is, just wearing earphones without playing any music, just being presence.
  • When you go to work, we will have break time, during this break time, we can set aside some time like, after working for 40 minutes and set alarm to have this a moment of breather in silence. Set aside time, small little break time to be in silence.
  • When you workout, if you run or in your exercise, you can exercise in silence. 
    It is said to be more stable and be much more aware.
  • When we want to take a break to another places, you can find a space where you feel it is perfect to be in silence like park or churches where you can go.
  • You can take a tech sabbatical time during weekend or any day, for 24 hours or 12 hours, to remove ourselves from digital devices. We can take a dopamine fasting as well during Saturday or Sunday.
  • We can choose to not speak for some period of time, like 24 hours to experience that. We can focus on listening throughout the day.

These are the examples of how we can incorporate silence into daily lives.

What do you do during this moment of silence? When you’re alone or not, when you dedicate this moment of silence, what do you do? You can do self-reflection, you can do meditation, you can journal, you can do nothing, you can start to pray or chant. Just review on ourselves.

When you’re with people, how can you practice silence?

First is through our communication, during conversation, practice pause, practice deep listening, to listen and to digest first before you answer a question. And even invite people to be in silence with you together in a space. It’s a voluntary empowered silence where people come together to sit in silence to create this spaciousness within and to generate energy of love and joy. It is beautiful to see this.

Because to relate with each other, to relate with the world, first we need know how to relate to ourselves. 

To slow down, even before silence, if you find it challenging once you try it, you can try to slow down ourselves from the brain first. Slow down by five senses which is very important but easy thing to do is just by breathing.

  • Deep breathing into the belly. With 10 minutes of deep breathing, by then, we will be able to slow down. This signals your brain to slow down and your body to relax.
  • With five senses after breathing, first, you see what is surrounding, what are the objects, the beautiful colours. Or you can close your eyes, to close off all the distractions externally.
  • Second, listen. Listen to the sound surrounding you.
  • Third, smell. What kind of smell it’s surrounding you?
  • Fourth, taste. This apply to when you drink water or when we eat food, pay attention to the sensations on the taste bud.
  • Fifth, touch. When touch anything around you, just feel it and do it slowly. So, it works for the movement as well, when you touch slowly, it slows you down.

These are the five senses.

What was suggested is to take quarterly retreat throughout the year with the purpose of re-orient your life goals. To reflect, to look at what has happened throughout the months and what can we do better to realign ourselves. It doesn’t have to be physical retreat to somewhere in nature, it can be just by you being in your own room, in one evening, just to review.

What we can do also, is to create a room or a space or a corner with just a mat with a sign saying that “this is a space for silence” (you can name it), a breathing room or a presence room which is dedicated for your loved ones as well. Anyone who felt imbalance or felt certain kinds of troubled emotions, can go into the room and just focus on breathing and be in silence.

This is also a space where we can talk things out, to express, to solve, to resolve misunderstandings or miscommunications. It is a room reserved for peace, for quiet, for joy and love. We call it the outer Sanctuary where we can incorporate a lot of things like candles, bells, crystals, just decorate the space and make it sacred because it is a sacred space.

There is outer sacred space and inner sacred place as well, within us. All of us have this inner sanctuary within us, where you can find and recenter of yourself wherever you are. I love this quote by Richard Foster, he said that:

“If we possess inward solitude, we are not fear of being alone because we know that we are not alone. We do not fear of being with others, you know that they do not control us.  In the midst of noise and confusion, we are settled into the deep silence. Whether alone or with a group of people, you always carry with us a portable Sanctuary of the heart.”

When we all carry a portable heart Sanctuary within us, gradually together, we can develop a collective habits of being in silence by practicing silence together. So we co-create a space, an energy of consciousness to allow peace and joy to flow. By speaking out our needs and by releasing emotions of tensions as we release we welcome new energy to enter within our own space and when we do it collectively, just feel and imagine how harmony it is. Collectively, the whole planet.

But, we will need to be in harmony with ourselves first.

We will talk more about this in the coming chapters. The important key is to keep practice with patience and persistency, we will all experience the magic of silence.

Let’s get into the space of silence, in the coming 9 minutes, sometimes it is more than 9 minutes, but I just love the number 9.

[Guided slow down starts at 20:44]

Love,

Abhya

Published by Abbhya 阿比亚 Pan Vic Qi

One sharing and supporting unity consciousness

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