We’re Fascinated by Words, But Where We Meet is in the Silence Behind Them

Ram Dass


Since the beginning of time, the human race has acknowledged the power of silence. This is no surprise when you consider that silence has the ability to punctuate a statement, express an emotion, fill a space, cause confusion, tell a lie and even strike grief in a wanting heart.

However, silence also has the capacity to create a space: a space where we can come to rest. Moreover, it’s in this space where we can allow our minds to settle and find reprieve from the daily distraction of life in an age where communication with the outside world has infiltrated our homes via the technological wild west of mobile devices, computers, tablets and television. By allowing ourselves to come to a place of silence, we reduce noise. By reducing noise, we can start to pay attention to what is happening internally. We can come home to ourselves with mindful attention.

One practice that can support this re-connection to ourselves through silence is a practice called Settling the Mind.By resting our attention on our breath and adding a count or a word/phrase, our mind starts to focus on the internal process, our parasympathetic nervous system becomes engaged and our mind starts to settle.

Why don’t you give it a try?

Find a seat or a cushion, and with you back straight but relaxed, feet firmly planted on the floor…

Begin by resting your attention on your breath. Where can you feel your breath in your body? In your nostrils? In your chest? Tummy? Simply, noticing. Then, slightly deepening your breath (if this feels comfortable to you), and introducing a count to 3 or 4 on each in breath and 3 or 4 on each out breath. (Again, if this feels comfortable) If you struggle with a count, you might want to introduce a word or a phrase, such as ‘breathing in/breathing out’.

Practice this technique for 3 or 4 minutes…. What do you notice? Are there any sensations in your body? Thoughts around the practice? What is you emotional landscape like?

How does it feel it be silent??

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