Sunday, September 14, 2014

A Spirit of Silence

Reading this excerpt from Thich Nhat Hahn's The Miracle of Mindfulness, I found myself calmed by it.  So I thought I would post a link to it for you.  The words below came forward to me.
For those who are just beginning to practice, it is best to maintain a spirit of silence throughout the day. That doesn't mean that on the day of mindfulness, you shouldn't speak at all. You can talk, you can even go ahead and sing, but if you talk or sing, do it in complete mindfulness of what you are saying or singing, and keep talking and singing to a minimum. Naturally, it is possible to sing and practice mindfulness at the same time, just as long as one is conscious of the fact that one is singing and aware of what one is singing. 
On my first retreats I realized forcefully that keeping silence was a great relief to me.  That was connected to my sense of responsibility to others rather than myself, and to my anxiety.  Those insights were important, but the teaching was in the sense of laying down a heavy burden.

You can call it awareness or "a day of mindfulness" or "keeping the Sabbath holy."  What it is, is a gift to yourself.


  1. Hey Dalai Grandma! We work silently, until we don't. Very interesting- we've all volunteered for this training and yet we all want to buck. Unfortunately for this one, I'm in charge of "reminding" people. Far to reminiscent of my middle school teacher days!

    Anyway, great to read you.

  2. Indeed, silence is important. In silence we can quiet the mind, put bias aside and truly observe. We can shift from interpretation to direct experience.

    Thank you for posting the link to this article.